Government not to challenge Supreme Court order on 2G licences

February 29th, 2012 - 9:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) The Indian government will decide by the end of this week what action it would take on the Supreme Court’s order quashing 122 licences issued in 2008, Telecom Secretary R. Chandrashekhar said Wednesday.

The top telecom official said the government is not looking to challenge the order but did not rule out the possibility of a presidential reference.

“We are looking at all the legal issues that arise following the Supreme Court order. All the legal options are on the table. All options are being looked at,” Chandrashekhar told reporters here.

“I think at the first instance, a final decision has to be taken that these are the legal steps that would be taken and then the timelines for each of them would be known.”

He also said the 2G spectrum auction following the Supreme Court’s verdict that revoked 122 licences issued in 2008 would not take place before 2013.

“Around 400 days will be required for the auction to take place and depending on actual dynamics, it could vary a little up and down,” said Chandrasekhar.

According to the apex court order, the affected firms such as Uninor, Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) and Etisalat DB will have to shut shop within four months.

Asked about the affect on these firms if the auction is delayed beyond the four-month deadline, Chandrasekhar said, “There are a number of issues which arise from the Supreme Court’s order. These require careful analysis.”

Russian conglomerate Sistema, which is a majority share holder in SSTL, has put the Indian government on notice, saying it would initiate proceedings as per the provisions of the bilateral investment treaty if the issue of revocation of telecom licences is not resolved within six months to protect its $3.1 billion investments.

Separately, Sistema has said it would file a review petition in the Supreme Court.

Norway-based Telenor, the parent firm of Uninor, has used diplomatic channels to secure its $3 billion investment in the country.

Tata Teleservices also moved the Supreme Court Wednesday, seeking review of the judgment.

Chandrashekhar said all issues related to the fallout of the Supreme Court order would be addressed within six months.

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