Info-tech

SC clarification sought on advancement of 2G cut off date

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 22, 2011 Published on December 22, 2011




The Additional Solicitor General of India, Mr Mohan Parasaran, has taken a view that a clear direction should be sought from the Supreme Court on the legality of the Telecom Ministry's decision to advance the cut off date for applying for new 2G licences from October 1, 2007 to September 25, 2007.

The case relates to an appeal filed by STel, one of the new players who did not get licences in all the areas they applied due to the change in the cut off date. While the Delhi High Court had quashed the Ministry's decision to advance the cut off date, the Supreme Court did not give a clear ruling as STel pulled out its appeal.

“In the light of the facts that the matter was not heard on merits, it would be improper to sustain the High Court's findings and therefore a clarification of the Supreme Court's order is necessary for clearly bringing out the legal anomaly that is created by the Supreme Court's observation of not interfering with the High Court's findings with regard to the cut off date,” Mr Parasaran said in response to a query from the Department of Telecom.

STel had applied for 22 circles but was given licences only for 6 areas on grounds that its application for the other 16 circles was made after September 25, 2007. STel challenged the decision and sought that the decision to advance the cut off date from October 1 be quashed. The Delhi High Court ruled in favour of the company and quashed the press release issued by the Telecom Ministry through which it had announced the change in cut-off date. The Government challenged this decision in the Supreme Court. But even as the hearings were going on Stel withdrew its appeal on grounds that market situation had changed and it agreed with the Government's decision. As a result, the Supreme Court dismissed the entire case. According to Mr Parasaran this has created an anomaly on the legality of the issue.

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Published on December 22, 2011
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