2G spectrum: Presidential reference note includes key questions on fate of Indian telecom industry

Telecom Lead India: Presidential reference note includes
key questions on the fate of the Indian telecom industry in the wake of the
cancellation of 122 licenses to run 2G services. Can it bring cheers to the
ill-fated sector?


The telecom industry hopes that the government’s strategy
to sort out the 2G spectrum tangle can bring cheers to the sector.


The presidential reference note includes key questions
such as what was to be done to the licenses that have been granted using the
first come, first served basis. The note asks what would happen to companies
like Norway’s Telenor, which did not participate in the bidding but had
invested in a joint venture to launch 2G services.


The April 13 hearing can bring some relief to the
industry. But several operators including Etisalat, STel and Loop Mobile have
already decided to exit from Indian mobile industry due to the Supreme Court


SC dismisses 2G review


The Supreme Court on April 4 dismissed 10 out of 11
review petitions filed by the telcos and others to review various aspects of
the recent  verdict by the apex court on 2G spectrum allocation.


According to a report by IANS, the cabinet on Tuesday
approved a proposal to issue a presidential reference seeking more clarity on
the Supreme Court’s order revoking 122 licences.


Through Article 143 of the Indian constitution, the
president can refer matters of public interest to the Supreme Court.


The presidential reference had been drafted taking inputs
from various ministries and the attorney general.


In this particular case, President Pratibha Patil would
ask the Supreme Court if its February order directing the government to auction
spectrum, which is one of the natural resources, will be binding on other
natural resources as well.


Tuesday’s decision comes just three days ahead of the
apex court hearing on April 13 the government’s petition to review its


The government has also sought a breather from the
Supreme Court on the four-month deadline for a re-auction and said that it
would take at least 400 days to complete this.


The Supreme Court has already rejected review petitions
filed by the affected companies.


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jeopardy in 2012


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