Wednesday, March 16, 2011

CBI won’t be influenced by TDSAT’s order: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the CBI not to be influenced by the order of telecom tribunal TDSAT which had upheld the DoT’s dual technology policy by allotting GSM spectrum to CDMA operators bypassing several applicants who had applied before them.

A bench comprising justices G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly said the CBI, which is probing scam in allocation of 2G spectrum by former Telecom Minister A. Raja, “would not be influenced in any way or manner by TDSAT’s order”.
The bench was disposing of a plea filed by GSM lobby group COAI and leading operators Airtel, Vodafone and Idea.
During the proceedings, senior advocate Fali S. Nariman, appearing for Cellular Operators Association of India, submitted there were several aspects of the cross-over technology policy of the DoT, which should be investigated by CBI.

However, it was opposed by Anil Ambani group firm RCom and Tata Tele Services which submitted it was a corporate warfare in the guise of court process.
The COAI had submitted they should be heard in the matter as they have challenged the Centre’s policy of allocating GSM spectrum to CDMA operators under dual technology to service providers like Reliance Communication and Tata Tele Services.
It was alleged that the two companies were allotted GSM spectrum under the dual technology regime ignoring several applicants who had applied before them for the licence.
It was pointed out in the application that GSM telecom operators and Cellular Operators Association of India should be allowed to present their views before the court as CBI is also probing the loss caused to the public exchequer due to the government decision of allowing use of dual technology.

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