SC refuses to stay spectrum auction

Tags: News
The Supreme Court today refused to interfere with the order of telecom tribunal dismissing the pleas of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Loop and Idea for a stay on spectrum auction which is starting tomorrow and extension of their licenses by another 10 years.

However, in an extraordinary urgent hearing on Sunday, a bench comprising justices A R Dave and S A Bobde admitted the appeals filed by Airtel and Vodafone challenging the January 31 order of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).6

"The appeal is admitted and hearing is expedited," the bench said after the Centre opposed the appeals saying "any observation from you (apex court) can scare away other bidders and can take away the vibrancy of the spectrum auction".

Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Abhishekh Singhvi, appearing for Airtel and Vodafone respectively, contended that the existing licences for the spectrum to them should be extended instead of putting them on auction.

While Rohatgi submitted that the apex court should ask the telecom department not to declare the result of the auction till it decides the appeals, Singhvi contended that Vodafone was having the licence for 20 years since 1994, so it has the right over the spectrum and the licence should be extended for another 10 years.

However, the bench observed that "it does not mean that you should have a monopoly".

Telecom companies made arguments in the apex court identical to those before the tribunal saying they have made huge investments ranging into several crores of rupees and hence had the legitimate expectation for the extension.

Any such denial was "illegal and unreasonable," they said adding that it would also result in the discontinuance of service to its subscribers.

The TDSAT had rejected their plea saying "the petitioners have failed to establish their right for extension in terms of the relevant provisions in their licenses, the matter ends there".

The tribunal had held that it was satisfied with the reason based on which the Department of Telecom (DoT) had denied extension and had asked telcom companies to participate in the spectrum auction starting February 3.

"Denial of extension of the licenses to the petitioners is based on good reasons as envisaged under clause 4.1 of the UAS license and the relevant provision in the CMTS license and the petitioners can claim no right for extension of their licenses under the aforesaid provisions of their licenses," TDSAT had said in its order.

Post new comment

E-mail ID will not be published
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

EDITORIAL OF THE DAY

  • Tighter disclosure norms will help public shareholders

    The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has proposed changes in listing agreements between companies and stock exchanges, laying down manage

FC NEWSLETTER

Stay informed on our latest news!

INTERVIEWS

GV Nageswara Rao

MD & CEO, IDBI Federal Life

Timothy Moe

Goldman Sachs

Chander Mohan Sethi

CMD, Reckitt Benckiser India

COLUMNIST

Arun Nigavekar

Why UGC must focus on quality

In a vast country like India, where there are pressures ...

Rajgopal Nidamboor

The sum total of our conscious experience

All of us epitomise a multiplicity of conscious thoughts. This ...

Gautam Gupta

Don’t let success kill the essence of the concept

In 1999 when my mother started her own label, we ...

INTERVIEWS

William D. Green

Chairman & CEO, Accenture