New Delhi: The government on Monday said it would send show-cause notice to Idea Cellular asking the telecom operator why its licence of five circles should not be cancelled for overlapping of licences.
“We will send Idea showcause notice in five circles for overlapping licences,” Department of Telecom (DoT) Secretary R Chandrashekhar told PTI.
Idea Cellular in 2008 picked up 41.09% stake in Spice, resulting in an overlapping situation in which both the companies held licences in six circles.
The Aditya Birla-promoted firm had said that it has not breached any condition of the licence agreement. It said it had written 20 letters to the DoT over the past 30 months but had failed to get any response from the government.
Chandrashekhar said the notices include the circles of Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Last month, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) of India Amarjit Singh Chandhiok, in his legal opinion, had suggested that the 12 licences (of Idea Cellular and Spice Telecom) be terminated as the merger has violated the lock-in period clause.
The clause stipulates that a company cannot enter into an agreement for merger before three years from the effective date of licence.
The ASG had also suggested a penalty of Rs50 crore each for the six service areas.