Supreme Court Dismisses Plea to Cancel Reliance Jio’s 4G Licence

Supreme Court Dismisses Plea to Cancel Reliance Jio's 4G Licence

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a PIL filed by an NGO challenging grant of 4G licences to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL).

A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur junked the petition of NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), which challenged the government’s decision to allow the company to offer voice services on its 4G spectrum.

The apex court, however, asked the government to look into the issue of spectrum usage charge (SUC) but did not pass any order on this.

The PIL, filed in 2014 through advocate Prashant Bhushan, had sought quashing of the permission granted by the Government to Reliance for providing voice telephony on Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum and pitched for a court-monitored CBI investigation in the alleged Rs. 40,000 crores scam.

Earlier this week, the Union Cabinet cleared the liberalisation of spectrum – allocated without auction to telecom companies – at Trai’s recommended price with the balance being collected after deriving market rate through bidding. The Cabinet decision taken will enable Reliance Communications (RCom) to liberalise its spectrum in four telecom circles, where auction determined price is not available, for Rs. 1,300 crores.

A liberalised spectrum allows telecom operators to use any technology to deliver mobile services like 3G and 4G. Besides, they will be able to introduce new technologies and share and trade it with other operators for its efficient use.

“The meaning of this Cabinet decision is that wherever administratively allocated spectrum is available, whose liberalisation is sought and whose market determined price is not available, then in that caseTrai’s recommendation on auction for price shall be taken as provisional standard and after actual auction, the balance will be taken,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

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Tags: India, RCom, Reliance, Reliance Communications, Reliance Jio, Spectrum, Telecom, Trai
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