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2G Scam Digest: DoT, S Tel, Idea Cellular, Loop Telecom, Essar Group

– Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, promoters of Essar Group; Vikas Saraf, Director (Strategy and Planning), Essar; and I P Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan, promoters of Loop Telecom, have been summoned to appear before the 2G court in Delhi. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had earlier accused both the companies of criminal conspiracy, claiming that Essar used Loop as a front company in 2008 to gain more licenses and spectrum than what was legally allowed. This is the second time they have been summoned after a no-show in the last hearing. Read more at NDTV.

– The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has stated that it will take a minimum of 400 days to complete the auction process for 122 telecom licences that were scrapped earlier this month. This includes 60 days for recommendations, 95 days for approval of these recommendations and 245 days for completion of auction process, payment by winning bidders and frequency allotments. The Supreme Court had earlier set a 4 month deadline to complete the entire auction process. Read more at The Hindu.

– S Tel is shutting down its services in India and helping its users switch to other operators, following the cancellation of its licenses in 6 circles by the Supreme court, as part of the 122 licences being cancelled earlier in the month. It had stated that it would decide to take part in the upcoming auction for new licenses after studying the final recommendations of the auction. Read more at Reuters and Business Standard.

– As we reported earlier, Telenor will be forming a new entity with a different Indian company and transferring all the existing assets of Uninor to its new partner, pending necessary approvals. This new entity will seek requisite approvals from Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to allow Telenor Group to take 74% ownership and participate in the upcoming auctions for fresh licenses. Unitech stated that it will prevent any such move from Telenor, claiming that the latter cannot transfer any assets of Uninor without its consent. Read more at Livemint.

– Idea Cellular seeks clarification on the cancellation of its licences by the Supreme Court as part of the 122 licenses being cancelled earlier this month. Idea claimed that its license applications of June 2006, were to be processed within 30 days of the application but was instead delayed until 2008. It claims that if the license application was actually approved within 30 days, the licenses would’ve fallen under the same category as other 2004 and 2006 UASL applications which weren’t cancelled by the Supreme Court Judgement.

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