Allowing writ petitions filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation and others and Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy seeking the cancellation of the licences, a Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly said: “The licences granted to the private respondents — Etisalat DB Telecom (Swan Telecom); Unitech Wireless; Loop Telecom; Videocon Telecommunications; S-Tel Ltd; Allianz Infratech; Idea Cellular and Aditya Birla Telecom (Space Communications); Tata Teleservices; Sistema Shyam Tele Services (Shyam Telelink); Dishnet Wireless; [and] Vodafone Essar South — on or after January 10, 2008, pursuant to two press releases issued on January 10, 2008, and the subsequent allocation of spectrum to the licensees are declared illegal and are quashed.”
The licences cancelled include 21 of Videocon, 22 of Unitech Wireless Ltd. (Uninor), nine of Idea, 21 of Loop, six of S-Tel, 21 of Sistema, three of Tatas, 13 of Swan and two of Allianz.
The Bench did not order a CBI probe against P. Chidambaram, then Union Finance Minister (now Home Minister), as demanded by Dr. Swamy, taking note of the fact that he had already filed a private complaint in a special CBI court which had reserved orders.
However, it is made clear that the observations and conclusions contained in this order shall not, in any manner, affect the pending investigation by the CBI, Directorate of Enforcement and others agencies or prejudice the defence of those who are facing prosecution in the cases registered by the CBI and the Special Judge, CBI shall decide the matter uninfluenced by this judgment