Petition against 4G licence to Reliance Jio: Apex court seeks Centre’s reply

PTI Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

The Supreme Court on Friday sought response of the Centre and telecom regulator TRAI on a public interest litigation filed by an NGO challenging grant of 4G licences to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL).

A Bench of Justices HL Dattu and SA Bobde issued notice to the Centre, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and RJIL on the petition of NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), which challenged the Government’s decision to allow Mukesh Ambani’s company to offer voice services on its 4G spectrum.

The PIL, filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, also sought quashing of the permission granted by the Government to Reliance for providing voice telephony on Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum and pitched for a court-monitored CBI investigation in the alleged ₹40,000-crore scam.

The petition said that the Centre’s decision to allow voice telephony has given undue benefit of about ₹22,842 crore to RJIL and corresponding loss to the Government and “is therefore arbitrary, unreasonable and discriminatory“.

It also alleged that the company was allowed “backdoor entry” into voice telephony using BWA spectrum by paying entry fee of meagre amount of ₹1,658 crore determined way back in 2001, a figure which was rejected by the apex court in its February 2, 2012, judgement in 2G spectrum allocation scam case.

Reliance Jio reaction

“We have not received any notice of any petition so far filed by Prashant Bhushan. This appears to be one more in a series of attempts to create a controversy in a next-generation foray which Reliance is determined to create in the service of the nation,” a spokesperson of Reliance Jio said.

Published on May 09, 2014

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