More reports on: Government policies
DoT to seek legal opinion before licence cancellation news
07 November 2011

The telecom ministry would seek legal opinion before cancelling some of the telecom licences, issued in 2008, for failure to roll out services within the stipulated time.

According to a senior DoT official, the department would seek opinion of the attorney general or solicitor general to come to a final conclusion to address some of the legal issues.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had, last year, called on DoT to penalise and cancel as many as 65 new licences for failure to roll out services within the agreed time frame.
The telecom ministry has been issuing notices to firms over two issues - ineligibility for licences and not adhering to the roll-out obligations as per stipulated timeframe.

According to the official, the first goal of the department was to send out the notices and then seek the legal opinion from the law officers and then attempt to put their replies and the legal opinion together for final action.

The department has already issued 15 notices to new telecom companies out of the 65 recommended by TRAI. These companies were among the 122 identified by TRAI as having defaulted with respect to missing roll-out obligations and also on grounds of ineligibility for a licence.

The cancellations relate to licences that former telecom minister A Raja issued in 2008. Raja was sacked last year, when his ministry was accused of sale of licences and spectrum at throwaway prices that allegedly cost billions of dollars worth of lost revenue.

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DoT to seek legal opinion before licence cancellation