DoT to ask for Law Ministry’s opinion on Tata Teleservices licences

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The department of telecom (DoT) may seek law ministry’s opinion on the 19 licences that were granted to Tata Teleservices on the same date as the now quashed 122 mobile permits. The department is considering if the fate of these 19 licences should be examined separately from the Presidential Reference
The DoT was acting on a representation by both industry body Assocham and a Delhi-based NGO, Telecom Users Group of India (TUGI), which said that a total of 141 licences need to be cancelled to comply with the Supreme Court’s February 2 order, and not just 122 licences as was interpreted by both the industry and the government.

The government, in its Presidential Reference, has asked the Supreme Court to clarify on the status of dual technology spectrum granted by the telecom department in 2007 to cross-over telcos, such as Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices.

GSM operators and Tata Teleservices have been engaged in war of words on this issue over the last few weeks.

Last month, the Cellular Operators Association of India, the industry lobby representing the GSM operators such as Bharti, Vodafone and Idea, among others, had asked the telecom department as well as finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to include the 19 permits that were granted to Tatas in the upcoming sale process.

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