Loop Telecom seeks refund of Rs 2,231 crore from govt

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New Delhi | Updated: February 27, 2016 7:17:52 AM

Challenging telecom tribunal TDSAT’s decision that rejected its petition, Loop has sought a refund of Rs 1,454.94 crore paid by it as an entry fee for telecom licence in 2008

telecom spectrum-tower-EPThe apex court on February 2, 2012 quashed its 21 licences along with 101 others. (Express photo)

Loop Telecom, which is facing trial in a case arising out of the probe into the 2G spectrum scam, on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking a refund of Rs 2,231 crore including interest in licence fee from the government for permits which it lost in view of the 2012 spectrum case ruling.

Challenging telecom tribunal TDSAT’s decision that rejected its petition, Loop has sought a refund of Rs 1,454.94 crore paid by it as an entry fee for telecom licence in 2008. The company has also demanded `737.59 crore as interest on the principal amount for the period January 10, 2008 to April 31, 2012.

The apex court on February 2, 2012 quashed its 21 licences along with 101 others.

Since the licences bundled with spectrum were valid for 20 years and were quashed due to flawed policy of first-come-first-served basis of the government, the company is entitled to restitution of its entry fee for the licence, the appeal stated.

According to Loop, the apex court’s February 2, 2012 order directing that “no court or authority to impede the investigation” could not be read as barring TDSAT from deciding its refund claims.

Besides, “TDSAT erroneously held that the provisions of the Contract Act would not apply to Loop’s case on the ground that the defects that rendered the licences illegal and liable to be quashed were totally different from the elements and causes contemplated under the Contract Act for rendering an agreement void or a contract voidable,” the petition said, adding that if it had known that the government’s policy was flawed then it would not have invested crores of money into infrastructure.

The government has no power under the licence or otherwise to forfeit the licence fees, in the event of licence being quashed for no fault of the company, it added.

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