Jethmalani accuses Reliance of manipulating spectrum deal

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New Delhi, Jan 24 (UNI) Senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani today argued before the Delhi High Court that Reliance Communications has manipulated the entire cross over spectrum deal to its favour by unfair means.

There is an unimpeachable evidence to prove their falsehood, Mr Jethmalani said.

Arguing on behalf of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Mr Jethmalani told Justice Geeta Mittal that the manner in which cross over spectrum was alloted to the big players shows the corrupt intention of the government.

He alleged that the Ministry has supressed some letters which prove that the allocation of spectrum was done in a manner to give benefits to Reliance Communications.

''They have lied...why don't they put all the records in place, because they have some corrupt deal to hide,'' Mr Jethmalani said while making remarks at the government's stand in the deal.

Under the Cross over Technology, CDMA companies like Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices can now offer GSM services on the same licence.

The Court was hearing an application filed by the COAI seeking stay of Department of Telecommunication's January 10 move to issue letters of intent to eligible new aspirants and allowing allotment of GSM technology spectrum to Reliance Communication.

The Court has also issued notices to the Central government, Tata Teleservices, Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd, Shyam Telelink, and Reliance Communications among others on COAI's application.

The COAI, a representative organisation of GSM-based service providers, had also sought quashing of the decision by Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appelate Tribunal (TDSAT) that on December 12 refused to stay the process of issuing new licences for offering mobile phone services in the country to those who applied as on September 25 last year.

Prior to that, the government had announced new norms that allowed use of dual technology--CDMA and GSM--by single operator in the same area and enhanced subscriber linked criteria for spectrum allocation.

The COAI challanged the new norms after which the government set up an official panel to review the recommendations made by the Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) that oversee the radio frequencies in the country.

Major GSM operators include Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Spice.

Reliance and Tata mainly provide mobile service on the rival CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) platform.

Radio Frequency is the lifeline for developement and expansion of the mobile phone industry in the coutry, especially in the wake of the country adding some seven to eight million new connections each month, Mr Jethmalani said.

Mr Harish Salve, Counsel for Reliance Communication said the GSM industry needs to weed out its mindset of the desire to dominate the market and adding subscribers by blocking competition.

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