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Court admits cell petition

New Delhi, Nov. 14: The Supreme Court today admitted a petition filed by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) seeking a stay on wireless-in-local-loop operations. A division bench of Justices S. Rajendra Babu and G. P. Mathur will hear the petition on Monday.

The COAI challenged the latest decision of the government to implement unified access licence regime as it would give the benefit of full mobility to WiLL operators like Reliance against the telecom policy of the government.

Senior counsel Ram Jethmalani mentioned the urgent petition during the ‘mention hour’ of the court contending that the level playing field created was thus destroyed by the government itself.

Jethmalani sought a direction to the government to maintain status quo regarding the number and type of cellular mobile licences issued separately or along with any other type of licence.

Without naming Reliance, the COAI counsel told the court that the government decision to implement a unified access licence regime would benefit only one set of telecom operators. The recent cabinet decision (on unified licence) violated the National Telecom Policy 1999 as well as the contractual provisions of the agreement between the cellular operators and the government, the petition said.

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