The Supreme Court verdict to cancel 122 licences has come as a shock to operators. The operators are considering going to the higher bench for review of the verdict, said an industry source.
"We look to the government to arrive at a fair outcome that doesn't jeopardise our lawful investment," said Glenn Mandelid, director of communications of the Telenor Group. "When we have not caused any of the faults found by the courts, it is obvious to everyone that our investment must not be jeopardised. We urge the government to ensure that a foreign investor that had nothing to do with these processes is not harmed."
Sources close to Telenor said the company may go for arbitration under bilateral investment treaty between Norway and India.
"We will go to the higher bench for review of the judgment," said a CEO of a service company.
"The Supreme Court decision relates to events that occurred in January 2008, well before December 2008 when Etisalat invested in Swan. Etisalat has no knowledge of what occurred in the licence application process for Swan, far less did it have any involvement," said a spokesperson of Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, Etisalat.
"Idea Cellular, one of the original mobile operators had applied for 9 new licences in 2006, long before the government took a decision to award licences in 2008," said spokesperson of Idea Cellular. "Idea Cellular has unnecessarily been caught in this situation of cancelled licences, just because the licences were granted in January, 2008, which was as late as 18 months from the date of application."