As the newer telecom operators plan to seek a review of the Supreme Court decision cancelling 122 licences issued after January 2008, the government has decided to adopt a wait-and-watch approach.
Most of the eight companies whose licences have been partly or wholly cancelled are gearing up for a review of the Supreme Court's 2 February decision, which was a fallout of the 2G scam where jailed former telecom minister Andimuthu Raja is alleged to have allotted spectrum cheaply for kickbacks (See: SC cancels all 2G licences, orders fresh spectrum auction).
Particularly concerned are those who have sunk considerable sums in their Indian operations. On Tuesday, both the Aditya Birla-promoted Idea Cellular and Venugopal Dhoot's Videocon filed 'clarificatory' applications before the apex court.
Others like Uninor, majority owned by Norway's Telenor, Sistema Shyam, controlled by Russia's Sistema, and Tata Teleservices have clearly indicated that will seek a review of the Supreme Court decision.
According to an Economic Times report, the government may consider becoming a party to the case when these companies approach the court, though it is keeping its hands off for now.When impacted companies like Tata Teleservices, Idea, Uninor and Sistema Shyam approached the union government on the matter, it refused to give any immediate assurances or guarantees, the report said citing anonymous sources.
Telecom minister Kapil Sibal told the paper in a brief response that the government has no plans to join the case if any of the companies approach the Supreme Court.