Tribunal rejects operators’ plea on spectrum policy changes

Tribunal rejects operators’ plea on spectrum policy changes

New Delhi: The Telecom Disputes Settlement And Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on Wednesday rejected an affidavit filed by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), which accused the government of changing its policy on spectrum allocation in a covert and malafide manner.

COAI, an association of GSM operators, filed the affidavit as part of the ongoing legal battle against the government’s decisions on allocation of additional spectrum and usage of dual technology.

Turning down the plea, TDSAT chairman justice Arun Kumar said it would complicate the issue. “We would take stock of that later during the hearing," he added.

In its additional affidavit, COAI had questioned the government’s move to allocate GSM spectrum to CDMA operators, saying it was ‘malafide’, and intended?to benefit Reliance Communications.

Nearly a fortnight ago, the registry of the tribunal had returned a reply filed by COAI containing identical allegations on the grounds that TDSAT had not directed the group to submit such a reply.

The GSM lobby had originally responded to an affidavit filed by the department of telecom, which had said the issue of dual technology could not be challenged as it was a policy matter.