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2G: Operators say SC order has severe consequences for them

Last Updated: Friday, March 2, 2012 - 22:06

New Delhi: Telecom operators Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL) and Uninor on Friday said they filed review petitions in the Supreme Court on the quashing of 2G licences because it had severe consequences for them and their stakeholders.

In a statement, SSTL said, "It believes that it is being unfairly penalised for acting in good faith and in reliance on the appropriateness of the procedures established by India's telecommunications authorities."

On the other hand, Uninor said its petition points to certain material facts and information that were not before the Supreme Court in further justification of the review.

"As an example, a key basis of the Court's order to cancel Uninor's licences was the conclusion that the award of licences was unilateral, arbitrary and capricious owing to a lack of consultation within Indian authorities.

"New and important material suggests that there was a well thought out, bona fide and collective decision by key people in the government in the public interest for granting the startup spectrum within the entry fee of Rs 1,658 crore," it said.

On February 2, the Supreme Court had quashed 122 licences issued in 2008 under the then telecom minister A Raja terming them "illegal".

SSTL said being a CDMA operator, its case is different compared to other affected operators.

"...there is no finding or suggestion by the CAG report that CDMA spectrum was equally or anywhere near in demand as GSM...In light of our commitment to continue our pan-Indian operations...we have filed for a review of the said judgement before the Honorable Supreme Court," SSTL President and CEO Vsevolod Rozanov said.

SSTL offers telecom services under the 'MTS' brand and has over 15 million customers across 21 circles. It is a joint venture between Russia-based Sistema (56.68 per cent shareholding) and India's Shyam Group, with the Russian government also holding 17.14 percent stake in the venture.

Uninor is a joint venture between Norway's Telenor and Indian real estate firm Unitech, where the foreign partner holds over 67 percent. It had 38.79 million subscribers as of January 31.


First Published: Friday, March 2, 2012 - 22:06
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