Supreme Court rejects TTSL petition relating to rivals’ extra 2G spectrum

22 Aug 2011

Indian mobile network operator Tata Teleservices (TTSL) has reportedly suffered a setback in its efforts to have excess 2G spectrum taken back from a number of its rivals, having claimed that the allocation of additional frequencies on the basis of a subscriber-linked criteria was unconstitutional. According to India’s Economic Times, the Supreme Court has dismissed a petition by TTSL that challenged an order made by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), which in turn had rejected a plea from the cellco for the withdrawing of excess spectrum from those mobile operators holding more than 6.2MHz of second-generation frequencies. The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia did, however, note that the policy matter could be challenged by way of judicial review, with the court order noting: ‘…We are of the view that, in substance, the matter concerns the impugned allocation of spectrum. This matter, in our view, can only be challenged by way of judicial review, as held in our earlier judgment in PTC India vs Central Electricity Regulatory Commission… In the circumstances, we dismiss this civil appeal with a rider, namely, if so advised, the appellants may adopt appropriate proceedings in accordance with law and if they do so, then the matter will be decided uninfluenced by observations of TDSAT, if any, on the merits of the case.’