21 November 2022


Judgments

Supreme Court

Centre for Public Interest Litigation v. Union of India and others

08.04.2016

Media and Communication

Reliance Jio’s 4G licence saved on ‘commercial realities’

The Supreme Court dismissed a petition against the grant of a 4G licence to Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited for being grossly undervalued. The challenge was premised on the government having had sold spectrum for Rs. 1658 crore whereas a Comptroller and Auditor General report had valued it nearly 15 times higher. The Report had also recorded that licence fee was based on 2001 figures, though in the intervening 10 years market conditions had changed dramatically. The court declined interfering with government’s decision, mindful that “various policy decisions are taken at a point of time considering various technological options, policy objectives and regulatory framework’. Since 1998, it noted, call charges had fallen drastically and telecom penetration in the country itself was unfathomable over a decade ago. Also, the licence granted by the Ministry was of much lesser value than the spectrum itself.

Relevant

Centre for Public Interest Litigation and Ors. v. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. MANU/SC/0089/2012
Jal Mahal Resorts P. Ltd. vs. K.P. Sharma and Ors. MANU/SC/0467/2014
M.P. Oil Extraction and Anr. vs. State of M.P. and Ors. MANU/SC/1302/1997

Spectrum licence

Tags : Reliance jio 4g licence auction policy

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