Spectrum sale was okayed at highest level: Uninor

Indian mobile company Uninor – majority owned by Norway's Telenor – has reportedly claimed in a review petition before the Supreme Court that the controversial issuance of mobile licences by jailed former telecom minister A Raja had the approval of leaders at higher levels.

Uninor has submitted documents to back these claims in the review petition asking the Supreme Court to reconsider its 2 February order cancelling 122 mobile licences, including Uninor's. (See: Suprem Court cancels all 2G licences, orders fresh spectrum auction).

The documents are intended to "prove that consensus had been arrived at the highest levels of the government between the Prime Minister's Office, finance ministry and telecom department in January 2008 to give out pan-India mobile licences at Rs 1,658 crore (a price fixed in 2001)," the petition says, The Economic Times reported.

The documents, essentially correspondence and file notings by ministers and secretaries, are intended to rebut a part of the court's order that held Raja responsible for allocating mobile licences in a "totally arbitrary and unconstitutional manner" and concluded he was solely responsible for this.

The court has not said when it plans to hear the review petition; but most such petitions are rejected.

Uninor has contended that the Indian government's "failure" to place relevant documents before the court had "impacted the very basis of the apex court's judgement" and added that the "discovery of new, important materials and evidence was an accepted ground for review".