Finally there is some action and movement, even if an inch, on the telecom licenses front. The Delhi high court has allowed the government to issue licences to the existing telecom operators in India, under a revenue sharing arrangement.
This was announced by the court in a hearing of a public interest litigation filed by the Delhi science forum, which had challenged the government's decision to allow existing operators to opt for revenue sharing arrangement. The interim court order says that new licenses would be issued to those basic and cellular operators on the basis of an undertaking. This undertaking would be to the effect that the migration from a fixed licence payment regime to a revenue sharing arrangement would be subject to the approval of the council of ministers and the Parliament that takes charge after the elections in September '99.
In this context the HC has given a free hand to the election commission to pass any orders that it deems fit.
The undertaking is valid till Dec 31, 1999 while the next hearing is on December 6.
The following variables come into the picture:
If the new telecom policy is not approved(along with the migration package) by the new council, the operators have no legal recourse or rights.
In such an eventuality the licences would stand cancelled and the operators would revert back to the 1995 license scenario.
also see : New telecom policy
clears the crossed connections
Basic telecom companies start connecting
Basic and cellular telephone operators in India