May 15, 2015 1:22:40 am
The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a batch of petitions filed by various telecom companies, including Vodafone and Bharti Airtel, seeking extension of their spectrum licences as a matter of right.
“We see no merit in these appeals and writ petitions. Therefore, all the appeals and writ petitions are dismissed,” said a bench led by Justice J Chelameswar, which termed it as a valid policy decision taken by the government. The telecom operators had challenged the government’s decision to reject their applications for extension of their licences and auction the spectrum surrendered by them.
While telecom firms have argued that the terms and conditions of their 20-year licences state that they were extendable by another 10 years, the government has argued that the norms say it ‘may’ extend the licence, and hence the matter was at its discretion. The bench agreed with Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar that licensees had no vested right for renewal/extension of their licences and were only entitled for a consideration of their claim for extension.
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