The government's top law officer, Attorney General, GE Vahanvati has recommended the cancellation of 72 out of a total 122 licences granted for the allocation of 2G spectrum in 2008.
Vahanvati's opinion was sought on the controversial matter by the department of telecommunications (DoT), following the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report, which had recommended the cancellation of 85 licences that did not meet eligibility conditions.
The 2G spectrum allocation scam involving allegations of serious corruption kicked off a major political controversy last year leading to the resignation and the subsequent arrest of former communications minister A Raja and 12 others. Vahanvati, in his opinion given on August 22, has recommended cancellation of licences of Uninor, Loop, Etisalat, Datacom Solutions and STel.
"These companies either did not satisfy the condition with respect to the main object clause of the telecom sector in their memorandum of association or did not have the stipulated paid-up capital at the time of application," the department of legal affairs has said in its note to the DoT.
"The Attorney General has reaffirmed that the date of alteration of the objects clause is the date of certification by the registrar. It is the only conclusive evidence to prove that all the requirements have been met with," the department said. Vahanvati has recommended the cancellation of 22 licences granted to Unitech, 21 of Loop, two of Etisalat, 21 of Datacom Solutions (Videocon) and six of S-Tel. There is, however, no mention of the licences granted to Swan Telecom, in Vahanvati's five-page opinion.
In 2009, Vahanvati, who was then the Solicitor General, had given a clean chit to the shareholding pattern of Swan, and had stated that there was no need to refer this matter to the ministry of corporate affairs.