New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to both Centre and BSNL on petition against government's decision to provide 2G technology in Arunachal Pradesh and 2 districts of Assam.
The PIL had questioned the decision to purchase "outdated" technology at a "huge" cost and alleged it was done to benefit two companies.
The Delhi High Court had however dismissed the PIL in August stating that it was a policy matter of the government.
The plea sought quashing of a January 16, 2018 agreement between the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), alleging that "outdated 2G technology is sought to be purchased at huge cost of Rs 2,258 crore from two private companies under mysterious circumstances".
According to the plea filed by NGO Telecom Watchdog, BSNL had completed the tender process for procuring equipment from two Delhi based-companies -- Vihaan Networks Ltd, and Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd -- for providing 2G network in Arunachal Pradesh and Karbi Anglong & Dima Hasao districts of Assam.
The PIL alleged that the decision was taken to "benefit the two private companies at the cost of exchequer, and at the cost of the users in the two states".
It claimed that purchasing 2G spectrum was very expensive and in support of its contention cited figures allegedly submitted to DoT by BSNL in November last year in a Detailed Project Report (DPR).
The petition said that in the DPR, BSNL has said it would require Rs 11,811.51 crore for setting up 4G technology at 100,000 sites across India.
With PTI Inputs