Court seeks govt view on 3G spectrum PIL

Court seeks govt view on 3G spectrum PIL

New Delhi: In a development that means further scrutiny on the roaming agreements signed between Bharti AirtelLtd, VodafoneEssar Ltdand IdeaCellular Ltd, the Delhi high court has ordered additional solicitor general A.S. Chandioke to present the government’s stand on the agreements.

The order came in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Yakesh Anand against the Union of India through the department of telecommunications (DoT), finance ministry, home ministry and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) as well as the operators.

Chandioke has till 30 November to reply to the court’s queries.

The PIL alleges that Bharti, Vodafone and Idea are misusing the spectrum they won in an auction last year in violation of the telecom licence rules and regulations. The petitioner also alleges that the actions of the operators have caused a loss of 20,000 crore to the exchequer and pose a threat to national security.

Idea Cellular and Vodafone Essar declined to comment on the issue. An Airtel spokesperson said: “Bharti Airtel is in complete compliance of the licence conditions, and all our agreements are as per the stated government policy."