Raja, telecom firms’ curative pleas dismissed

In a setback to telecom companies, the Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed curative petitions filed by four firms and the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, for review of its February 2, 2012 order cancelling 122 licences for 2G spectrum.

The four companies are Videocon Telecommunications, Sistema Shyam Teleservices, Tata Teleservices and Idea Cellular.

A Bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices P. Sathasivam and G.S. Singhvi, which read the petitions in the CJI’s chamber, said no case had made been made within the parameters indicated in the court’s decision in the Rupa Ashok Hurra vs. Ashok Hurra & Another case.

Curative petitions are filed after the dismissal of review petitions.

Earlier, the Centre, contending that the first come, first served policy for allocation 2G spectrum had the twin objective of providing a level-playing field and affordability, sought review of the February 2 verdict. It later withdrew the review petition and filed a Presidential reference.

Answering the reference, the court held that all natural resources need not be auctioned as was ruled in the 2G judgment and said maximisation of revenue was not the only consideration to determine the method of allocation.

In his review petition, Mr. Raja said the court had condemned him for alleged illegalities without making him a party to the proceedings, and that its observations would affect his defence in the trial.

The Bench said the verdict, cancelling licences, had made clear that the observations in the judgment “shall not prejudice any person, including the applicant, who is facing prosecution in the cases registered by the CBI or who may face prosecution on the basis of charge sheet(s) which may be filed by the CBI in future and the Special Judge, CBI, shall decide the matter uninfluenced by this judgment.” Nor would the judgment “prejudice any person in the action which may be taken by other investigating agencies under the Income Tax Act, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and similar statutes.”

Mr. Raja filed the curative petition against this order.

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