The telecom companies, under scruitny for having benefited in 2G spectrum scam, today told the Supreme Court that allocation of the air waves since 2003 should be scrapped if the first-come-first serve policy adopted during the tenure of former Telecom Minister A Raja is held illegal. In a clear reflection of the war among telecom players, senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Etisalat DB Telecom Pvt Ltd, submitted the government never followed the policy of auction for 2G spectrum allocation and many companies benefitted by getting additional radio waves without any charge since 2003.
“If this (lack of auction) can be a ground for cancellation of allotment, then all such additional allocation to other telecom companies since 2003 should be scrapped,” Salve contended before a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly.
Contending that additional spectrum was given to established companies by the government without charging them since 2003, Salve said the Department of Telecom did not follow the TRAI recommendation of charging the companies for additional spectrum at that time.
“CAG report says that it caused a loss of Rs 36,993 crore by neglecting TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) recommendation which had asked the government to charge the comapny for granting additional spectrum,” he said.
“Either cancel all spectrum allocation which was done without auction and then put it on auction. There cannot be discrimination among the service provider,” Salve said adding the “decision-making process on the part of the government has been horrible, to say the least. This is a mess created by the government and it must come out with solution.”