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Jul 04, 2011, 10.28 PM IST
In a boost to Tata Telservices, the telecom tribunal TDSAT today allowed the plea of the service provider and directed the Department of Telecom to immediately release the GSM spectrum for the Delhi circle on priority basis.
The tribunal also slammed Aditya Birla group firm Idea Cellular and Unitech and said that they cannot claim parity with Tata Teleservices merely because they have submitted their licence fee earlier than the Tata group firm.
Also read: Delhi HC slaps Rs 1-cr fine on Idea Cellular The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal bench headed by its Chairman Justice S B Sinha also directed Idea and Unitech to pay cost to Tata Tele equally as the cost of its litigation.
Allowing the plea of Tata group firm claiming priority over GSM allocation for Delhi circle, TDSAT said, "In terms of the policy decisions dated October 19, 2007, and January 10, 2008, TTSL having deposited the entire amount of the fees as has been recommended by TRAI was entitled to grant of priority in the matter of allocation of spectrum over Idea, Unitech and others".
It also pulled up the DoT for wrongly categorising Tata Tele and said the company was entitled to be placed in Category III and not in Category V for the spectrum allocation.
It further said, "Tata Tele as an 'existing licensee' does not fall in the same class as the 'new licensees' despite the fact that it was required to apply for and obtain amendment in its licence".
"Neither Idea nor Unitech or Videocon can claim any priority over TTSL only because it has deposited the entry fees immediately prior to TTSL," said the tribunal while rejecting their claims.
It also rejected plea that Tata's approached late and said, "petition of Tata Tele, therefore, should be allowed and those of Idea and Unitech are to be dismissed. Idea and Unitech shall pay the costs of these petitions of TTSL in equal proportions.
The tribunal's direction came over a petition filed by the Tata group firm in December 2010 alleging "discrimination and arbitrariness" against it by the Department of Telecom (DoT) under the cross-over spectrum policy.
"In a clear case of discrimination and arbitrariness, DoT allocated the spectrum to similarly placed Reliance Communications Ltd, HFCL and Shyam Telelink Ltd", said Tata in its petition adding that this was despite it being the first applicant to apply for GSM on October 19, 2007.
Tags: Tata Telservices, telecom tribunal, service provider, Department of Telecom, GSM spectrum, Aditya Birla group, Idea Cellular, Unitech, licence fee, TRAI, allocation of spectrum, Videocon
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