Thomas K.Thomas

New Delhi, Nov. 19

The Department of Telecom is set to tell the Prime Minister's Office that it should not be blamed if any company misrepresents facts for taking licences.

The DoT, which has been pulled up by the Comptroller and Auditor General for not doing due diligence while giving licences to new players in 2008, has taken a view that if a company submits documents certified by their Company Secretary, then it has to take it as face value.

“Any misrepresentation by an applicant cannot be construed as indicative of malafide on the part of DoT. Unified Access Service licences are given based on the documents submitted by the applicant companies duly certified by their company secretary,” said a top DoT official.

“There is provision in the licence that if the information submitted by the company is found to be incorrect at a later date, then there are provisions in the licence conditions to cancel the licence,” the official added.

Note to be sent

A note to this effect will be sent to the PMO shortly. The PMO wrote to the DoT on October 27, seeking explanation for the allegations made Dr Subramanian Swamy, President, Janata Party, that licences were given to companies even though they didn't fulfil the eligibility criteria.

The CAG had observed that nine real estate companies, including six newly incorporated applicant companies belonging to the Unitech Group (brand name Uninor), were granted licences in 2008, despite misrepresentation of facts and not satisfying the eligibility criterion prescribed by the DoT.

Conditional certification

These companies suppressed the fact of conditional certification of alterations in Memorandum of Articles/Articles of Association, while submitting applications for the licence in 2007. “Besides, Shipping Stop Dot Com (India) Private Ltd (which later changed to Loop Telecom Private Ltd) also misrepresented facts as they did not disclose the non-registration of alteration of the main object clause in the MOA/AOA with the ROC on the date of the application,” the report states.

The DoT official added that files related to the applications were obtained from the CBI and the Department was studying the observations of the Audit.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 20, 2010)
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