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SC rejects two pleas against grant of 2G licenses

Last Updated: Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 19:00

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today rejected two separate pleas seeking cancellation of 51 2G licenses issued during 2004-07 based on first-come-first-serve basis and a direction for a CBI probe into alleged violations of DoT guidelines by Vodafone, Tata Teleservices, Idea Cellular and Aditya Birla Telecom Ltd.

"In our considered view, the matter seeking quashing of licenses granted during 2004-2007 is highly belated and in the absence of any explanation of delay, we do not find any merit in the petition," a bench of justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan said.

The order came on a plea, filed by advocate Yakesh Anand seeking cancellation of 51 2G spectrum licenses granted to various telecom operators from 2004 to 2007 on the ground that they (licenses) were also accorded as per the first come first served (FCFS) basis.

The petition relied on the Supreme Court's February 2, 2012 judgement, by which 122 2G licenses granted by the then Telecom Minister A Raja in 2008 on the basis of FCFS policy were cancelled, for seeking cancellation of 52 licenses accorded between 2004-07.

The other petition, which met the same fate, had sought a CBI probe into alleged irregularities by the Department of Telecom (DoT) personnel and the officials of telecom firms in getting the 2G licenses.

Essar Spacetel Pvt Ltd (now Vodafone), Tata Teleservices, Idea Cellular and Aditya Birla Telecom Ltd have also violated DoT guidelines like Swan Telecom and Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) which are facing trial in the 2G scam case, the plea alleged.

RTL, an existing telecom company, had 9.9 per cent stakes in its front firm Swan Telecom which also applied and got the 2G licenses, the petition said, adding they are being prosecuted in the 2G case.

Idea Cellular, in which Tata Teleservices had more than 10 per cent stakes, applied for a license in Mumbai circle on August 4, 2005 despite the fact that Tata group firm already had the license for the same area, it said, adding it was in violation of the DoT guideline.

Likewise, Aditya Birla Telecom Ltd, which has more than 10 per cent stakes in Idea Celluar, applied for a license for Mumbai circle, it said adding the similar plea of Idea Cellular for grant of 2G license for the same circle was pending with the DoT.


First Published: Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 19:00
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