SC blow to telcos, rejects plea for license extension


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a batch of petitions filed by various telecom companies, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone seeking extension to their spectrum license.

A bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar dismissed the petitions saying there is no merit in them. The court reserved its verdict on a bunch of similar petitions filed by Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone and Loop Mobile seeking extension to their 20 year spectrum license by another 10 years.

The telecom operators had challenged the government’s decision to reject their applications for extension of their licenses and auction the spectrum surrendered by them.

While telecom companies have argued that the terms and conditions of their 20-year licenses state that they were extendable by another 10 years, the government has argued that the norms say it “may” extend the license, and hence the matter was at its discretion.