The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed concern over national security aspects being overlooked during the tenure of A Raja while allowing foreign companies to operate in the telecom sector despite adverse reports against them.
A bench of justice GS Singhvi and justice AK Ganguly said: "In two cases security angles are being probed. Ministry of home affairs' objection against the companies are very serious. They can become threat to ... security of the nation. You get huge FDI for compromising national security."
The court's remarks came while senior counsel C A Sundaram was arguing on behalf of Uninor and Looptelecom.
It was hearing a petition filed jointly by various civil societies, including Centre for Public Interest Litigation, Telecom Watchdog and Common Cause, and by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy seeking court's direction to cancel all the licences issued to service provider during Raja's tenure.
It referred to Etisalat DB Telecom and S-Tel against whom the ministry had expressed its reservation.
"There is a security angle to it and if it turns out to be true then it means that security aspect has been compromised," the bench said. "We are not experts in these matters. But if these things are not taken care of then they can even know Army operations."
Meanwhile, Looptelecom informed the court that it was not averse to an auction. However, it said the company should be permitted to match the highest offer and if it fails, the government to reimburse the money that was invested when Looptelecom got the license.