Telecom tribunal TDSAT has dismissed the petitions filed by Idea Cellular challenging the show-cause notices issued by the government on merger of Spice Communication with the Aditya Birla group firm.
The TDSAT rejected Idea Cellular's plea after observing that it would be "improper" to pass any order as the Department of Telecom (DoT) is yet to pass the final order.
The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) also made it clear that after the DoT passes an order in this regard, Idea can challenge it.
"Keeping in view the fact that the respondent (DoT) is yet to pass any final order in the matter, we are of opinion that this order may not be construed to mean that in the event such an order is passed, the petitioner would be remediless," said the TDSAT bench headed by its chairman justice S B Sinha.
It further said that Idea "would be entitled to raise all such contentions which are available to it for filing appropriate application before this tribunal in such event."
In its notice dated June 1, 2011, the Department of Telecom (DoT) had said the merger happened despite it rejecting it on January 7, 2010. It also said that such information was suppressed by Idea before the Delhi High Court in its application for amalgamation of Spice Communication with Idea Cellular.
However, in its judgement, the tribunal said that it would not go into the order passed by the high court.
The Delhi high court on July 4, 2011, dismissed Idea's plea and had directed the company to surrender the spectrum to DoT along with a penalty of Rs 1 crore penalty for suppressing fact.
This was challenged by Idea Cellular before a division bench, which had on July 21 directed to maintain status quo over the licences of Karnataka and Punjab. It had also directed the DoT not to take any coercive step.
"We have not considered the other aspects of the matter, including the finding of the single judge of the Delhi high court to which reliance has been placed by Ms Dhir (DoT's counsel) as we opine that it would be improper on our part to comment, on way or the other on the judgement of a competent court of law with which we are not concerned," the tribunal said.