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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, August 01, 2012
The government has set up an inter-ministerial group to look into the claims of foreign investors in telecom companies whose licences are set to be cancelled by the Supreme Court's February 2 order.

The committee will be headed by the secretary of the department of telecommunications and will comprise secretaries of the department of economic affairs, the department of legal affairs and the ministry of external affairs.

Sistema, a majority partner in Sistema Shyam Tele-ventures Ltd, has sent a legal notice to the government threatening to take action against it under the Indo-Russian treaty. The company was issued licences to run CDMA-based mobile services. There were no takers for the CDMA spectrum, hence, no question of jumping the queue arose. In a letter to the Communications minister, the company has  claims that it received the licences as per the existing laws of the land, voiding the case for cancellation.

Norway-based Telenor, a majority share holder in Uninor, has also threatened to take action under the bilateral investment treaty.

Bycell, a Russia-based company has also sent a legal notice to the government. It was not issued licences even though it was on the top of the list.