Govt denies any malpractice in spectrum cross over issue

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New Delhi, Jan 14 (UNI) The Government today filed an affidavit in Delhi High Court stating that there was no malafide intention on its part in the allotment of cross over spectrum.

It accused the Cellular Operators Association of India(COAL) who have filed a writ petition against this allotment and said they have no monopolistic rights over cross over spectrum or locus standii to file this petition.

Additional Solicitor General Vikas Singh along with senior lawyer Sanjay R Hedge told the Court that the four major players Bharti, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea have no legal right in respect of issuance of fresh licences to other players or in respect of grant of dual permission to CDMA operators.

An affidavit signed by Mr Rajesh Kumar Gupta assistant Director General(ADG) AS-1, Department of Communications stated that the whole process of allotment of Spectrum is a valid policy decision taken by the Government in public interest.

In the affidavit, the ADG has accused the four major COAL members that they have time and again misused the process of law to block the policy decisions taken by the Government in the interest of public and this time also they have not come to the court with clean hands.

Mr Singh told the Court that the main petition of COAL on the same issue is pending in TDSAT which will come up for hearing on January 24. Meanwhile, they had approached Delhi High Court which proves their Malafide intention, he said.

The Government has already recieved a sum of ten thousand six hundred crores from various new entrants and the developement of the industry cannot be held on ransom by entrenched operators at this stage, he added.

Though the matter was listed for January 31, it was taken up today after the COAI requested the Court to hear it on urgent basis.

Justice Gita Mittal after hearing the part arguments defferred the remainning arguments to January 21.

Senior lawyer Mr Fali Nariman, Mr Jethmalani, Mr Abhishek Manu Singvi who appeared for COAI will now argue their side in the next hearing.

The COAI is a represantative organisation of telephone operators offering services on the GSM(global system for mobile communications) platform.

Reliance and Tata mainly provide mobile phone services on rival CDMA(code division multiple access)platform.

COAL has accused the Government of getting into a high level conspiracy to favour some other operators.

Mr Harish Salve from Reliance communications however said the GSM industry needs to get out of the mindset of wanting to dominate the market and adding subscribers by blocking competition.

UNI SNG MIR RN1951

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