The Supreme Court of India has accepted a review petition filed by the central government on the ruling by the court ordering the cancellation of 2G telecom licenses in the country.
The apex court had scrapped the validity of quashed all 122 spectrum licenses that were granted to firms during the former communications minister A Raja’s time in office. The court cancelled all the licenses on the ground they were issued in a “totally arbitrary and unconstitutional” manner. It also imposed a fine on three telecom companies that offloaded their shares after getting the licenses.
The supreme court, however, did not accept the petition of seven telecom companies that challenged the cancellation of licenses and a review petition of former telecom minister A. Raja alleging that the ruling unfairly impeached him. The court rejected review petitions of companies including Videocon Telecommunications Ltd, STel Ltd, Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd, Tata Teleservices, Unitech Wireless Ltd, Etisalat DB Telecom Pvt. Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd.
The union government had filed a 23-page review petition on 3 March claiming that the judgement was in direct conflict with mining laws under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. The mining law says that the natural resources can be distributed on the basis of a first-come-first-served (FCFS) policy. The Supreme Court had said that FCFS policy followed by Raja in allocating the licenses was arbitrary and illegal.
The petition is scheduled for hearing before a bench comprising justices G. S. Singhvi and K. S. Radhakrishnan on 13 April.