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Wednesday, May 08, 2002

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SC ruling on WLL in July; no stay on rollout

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THE Supreme Court has put off till July 19, its decision on a petition filed by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) challenging the decision of the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), allowing fixed service providers to offer limited mobility WLL services.

Hearing the petition on Tuesday, the Bench comprising Mr Justice R.P. Sethi and Mr Justice K.G. Balakrishnan also refrained from ordering a stay on the rollout of WLL services.

Basic operators who wish to offer these services can continue to do so, until the apex court takes a final decision on the matter.

It may be recalled that after conducting hearings for more than 15 months, the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) had in mid-March dismissed the COAI's petition challenging the Government's decision allowing limited mobility.

The tribunal had held as baseless COAI's contention that the Government had deviated from the New Telecom Policy (NTP) 1999. More importantly, it had pointed out that the petitioners essentially were assailing a policy decision of the Government, which was outside the scope of the jurisdiction of a Court or a Tribunal.

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