Indian politico asks court to pull 2G licenses

Dylan Bushell-Embling
05 Jan 2011

An Indian party leader has called on the courts to order that all spectrum licenses issued in the disputed 2008 allocation be revoked.

Subramanian Swamy, leader and founding member of India's Janata Party, has petitioned the Supreme Court seeking the cancellation of the licenses issued by former telecom minister A Raja, theHindureported. Swamy has called for fresh allocation for the frequencies.

His request centers on the allegations that Raja retroactively changed the cut-off date for the first-come-first-serve allocation, and used more measures to secretly ensure that his preferred bidders were among the winners of the 122 licenses awarded.

Raja claims that based on the telecom ministry's own criteria for the allocation, each of the 575 applications from 46 companies were equally entitled to win.

Swamy asked the court to order the government to pull the licenses, and said that if spectrum was too scarce to accommodate all the applicants, the government should be forced to follow a reasonable selection criteria for determining the winners.

Companies including Unitech (now Uninor) and Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB) entered the Indian market via winning spectrum in the allocation, and have already launched 2G services.

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