SC asks TDSAT to decide Idea's plea on 3g spectrum allocation

SC asks TDSAT to decide Idea's plea on 3g spectrum allocation

A bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly asked the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal to take a decision on the plea of Idea.

"It is related with 3G spectrum allocation and it should be dealt with separately," said the bench allowing the plea of the Aditya Birla group firm.

The TDSAT had stopped hearing after the Attorney General had mentioned before the Tribunal that the Supreme Court had restrained all courts from passing any order on allocation of spectrum.

Following that, Idea had approached the Supreme Court seeking its clarification on the issue.

In January, 2011, Idea had filed a petition in TDSAT for allocation of 3G spectrum and the Tribunal, admitting it, issued a notice.

Idea Cellular, in its petition before TDSAT, had said that following its merger with Spice Telecom, the latter doesn't exist and all its rights be treated by DoT as those of the Aditya Birla group firm.

It submitted that despite several requests by the group, DoT has not amended Letter of Intent (LoI) and failed to issue 3G licence in Punjab to Idea Cellular.

It further submitted DoT was not issuing 3G spectrum (radio waves) to the company although, as per the agreement, it was to have been allotted in September. All the other 3G licence holders have already received spectrum by September 1.

Idea cellular had paid Rs 5,768 crore to get licenses of 3G mobile service in 11 circles and it had paid Rs 322 crore for Punjab circle.

Of the 11 service areas, where (LoIs) have been granted to Idea  --  earmarking 3G spectrum, the company holds licences in 10 circles. In case of Punjab, however, the licence is being held by Spice.