PM seeks Attorney General’s advice on 2G licence cancellation
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday asked the Attorney General for his advice on 2G order.
The PM has also asked whether a review petition in this regard is required or not.
The Supreme Court on Thursday cancelled award of 122 licences to telecom companies in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
Foreign telecom players like Telenor of Norway, Sistema of Russia, Etilasat and S-Tel of UAE had been affected owing to cancellation of licenses.
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said the government must follow the process of auction for allocation of any natural resource to avoid any arbitrariness and illegality.
Earlier in a historic verdict, the Supreme Court on 02 February had cancelled all 122 2G telecom licences issued during the tenure of former telecom minister A Raja in 2008.
An apex court bench comprising of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly held that 122 licences for 2G spectrum were granted in an “arbitrary and unconstitutional manner”.
Imposing a fine of Rs five crore each on three telecom companies, which offloaded their shares after getting the licenses, the court directed regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to make fresh recommendations on allocation of 2G licences.
Asking the government to take steps on the recommendations of TRAI within a month, a bench comprising justices Singhvi and Ganguly said the allocation of spectrum would be done through the policy of auction within four months.
The order came on three separate petitions which alleged scam in the allocation of spectrum licences by Raja in January 2008 during the tenure of UPA-I government, on which the CAG had assumed a presumptive loss of upto Rs 1.76 lakh crores.
The 122 licences were given by Raja for over Rs 9,000 crores, while 3G auctions for a smaller number of licences had fetched the government a sum of Rs 69,000 crores.
Companies which stand to lose their licences include Uninor (joint venture between Unitech and Telenor of Norway), Sistema Shyam Teleservices (joint venture between Shyam and Sistema of Russia), Loop Telecom, DB (joint venture between Swan and Etisalat of UAE), S Tel, Videocon and Idea Cellular.
"To say the least, the entire approach adopted by TRAI was lopsided and contrary to the decision taken by the Council of Ministers and its recommendations became a handle for the the then Minister of C&IT A Raja and the officers of the DoT who virtually gifted away the important national asset at throw-away prices," a bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said.
With PTI Inputs