EDITORIAL

Arbitrary DoT

Posted on March 11, 2010 | View 1760 | Comment : 7

Is bludgeoning S Tel into submission

This should not happen in liberalised India. The Department of Telecom ordered S Tel, a new entrant to India’s thriving telecom market, to shut down operations. The order did not say why such a serious decision has been taken, affecting about 5 lakh service providers in three states. It was put out that security concerns prompted the decision.

However, the ministry of home affairs has made it clear that it has not asked DoT to shut down S Tel’s operations. What it has said is that S Tel should put in place the necessary facilities for lawful interception of communications, as is required of all communication service providers. So that leaves DoT without any ‘security’ cover for its decision.

What else could be the reason for this sudden, terminal move on DoT’s part? Surely, it cannot be related to the possibility of DoT losing, in the Supreme Court, its appeal against a high court order that had upheld an S Tel plea against the unfair manner in which DoT had allotted licences in 2008, arbitrarily advancing the deadline for submission of applications in a manner that favoured some applicants and discriminated against others, including S Tel.

The latter had applied for 22 licences, but got only six, and legally challenged the government’s action. After it got orders to stop operations, and prior to the Supreme Court hearing on Wednesday, S Tel wrote to DoT saying that it was no longer interested in pursuing the other licences.

The Supreme Court has directed S Tel to file an affidavit explaining what prompted it to write to DoT undermining the case it had won in the high court, on the eve of its hearing in the Supreme Court. The answer, as they say, is blowing in the wind.

This cannot be allowed to go on. DoT cannot be run like a fiefdom. The prime minister and the council of ministers have a collective responsibility, which cannot be abdicated in the name of coalition compulsions.

Post Comment

Comment

Comments (7)

  • Dear Telecom User,

    Please be aware that there is nothing wrong in bundling the services of a Telecom Operator with a company's product, so there arises no question of illegality in whatever Datawing is doing. They would surely have a back-to-back agreement with Airtel, BSNL, TATA and MTS, and also for your kind information you dont need anykind of license for such Promotional (read as BTL) activities.

    Posted by Wang | 07 May, 2010

  • Illegal W/o license GSM mobile service provider in India since many years.

    M/s Datawind Ltd. / Unique Mobinet Surfers Pvt. Ltd are providing illegal GSM mobile data internet service to thousands of customers across India on commercial basis.
    ...See More

    Posted by telecom | 14 Mar, 2010

  • M/s Datawind Ltd. / Unique Mobinet Surfers Pvt. Ltd are providing illegal GSM mobile data internet service to thousands of customers across India on commercial basis.

    Datawind Ltd. / Unique Mobinet Surfers Pvt. Ltd do not hold any licenses as an ISP &/or mobile GSM service operator.
    ...See More

    Posted by Telecom Consumer | 14 Mar, 2010

  • For comments it is necessary that full facts be known.Can the required information be not obtained under R T I?

    Posted by Prakash Narain,Sr DDG at retired from BSNL|12 Mar, 2010

  • It is really shocked about the DOT comment without consulting the arbitration of ministers and couuncil how can dot behave like this as it shows only a foreign investor can open at elecom

    Posted by Mohamed Riyaz , Asst Manager at IDEA cellular ltd | 11 Mar, 2010

  • If it is done in the intrest of national security,then this is the right step.But if the services are allowed again, then it is assumed that it is done in the interst of under table trasactions.
    This is India and anything can happen here.

    Posted by Parveen Kumar , ABCD at Other Than S-Tel | 11 Mar, 2010

  • WHAT IS DIFFERENT BETWEEN INDIA AND CHINA?? EVEN IN CHINA GOVT. DONT DEAL THE WAY DoT HAVE DONE. IN THE NAME OF NATIONAL SECURITY ANYTHING CAN BE DONE. WHEN THERE ARE NO ISSUES TO SHOW OFFICIALS HAVE ONE ISSUE NATIONAL SECURITY. CORRUPTION IS WHAT HC IS SEEN AND CORRUPTED OFFICIALS ARE TAKING ABOUT NS.

    Posted by Nagendra Dugar,Director at Arihant organisation|11 Mar, 2010

User Picture Onward to real political reform The real significance of the women’s Bill is that the leadership has finally found the courage.. T K Arun Read full story

Mathematics and democracy

Steven Brams

It may come as a surprise to some that there is a science of elections, whose provenance can be trac..

Read full story

Muster up the will to change oneself

Vital C Nadkarni

Angelo Siciliano was a £97 stripling. One fateful day, when he’d gone to the beach, a..

Read full story

Read full story

Link incentives to investment or profit?
User Picture

Investment-linked incentive will help hotels, tourism grow The Finance Minister has created a largely unrestricted provision in Budget 2010 that enables any ho.. Kaushal Aggarwal
MD, Avendus Capital

User Picture

Tax sops are distortionary but those tied to investment are better Every form of tax incentives introduces some distortions in the decision-making process. In choosing.. Kavita Rao
Professor, NIPFP

The Economy Times

About Us | Terms & Conditions | Contact Us

Copyright © PeerPower.com 2010. All rights reserved.

powered by PeerPower