Aircel urges Supreme Court not to cancel its spectrum licences

Telecom operator Aircel has asked Supreme Court not to pass a proposed order cancelling its licences and selling its spectrum until it is heard.

Aircel urges Supreme Court not to cancel its spectrum licences

Telecom operator Aircel has asked Supreme Court not to pass a proposed order cancelling its licences and selling its spectrum until it is heard.

The company has claimed that “incalculable damage” had already been done to its business, reported The Economic Times.

Aircel risks cancellation of its licences because representatives of its largest shareholder haven’t appeared in connection with a case filed by the CBI against former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran.


Aircel said the company isn’t accused in the case against Maran and if the government takes coercive action before the next hearing on February 3, it could be “fatal” for the company.

“If the order is passed, it would result in closure of all operations,” Aircel explained in its plea to the court, seeking to be heard before any order is passed that may affect the company. “Any deprivation of spectrum would be a death knell for operations of the company.”

A group of lenders led by State Bank of India had filed a plea on Monday to be heard in the case on grounds of having substantial loans to Aircel. The court agreed on Tuesday to hear them next time.

Aircel’s filings follow those by State Bank of India and 11 other banks, which underscored the large debt the telco owes them and the large-scale impact that local and foreign lending agencies will face if the spectrum is taken away.

The trouble for Aircel began on January 6, when the Supreme Court threatened to cancel Aircel’s airwaves and licences if T Ananda Krishnan, promoter of Malaysia-based Maxis Communications Berhad, and former Maxis director Augustus Ralph Marshall did not  appear before a trial court to answer criminal charges filed against them. Maxis owns 74% of Aircel’s equity.