Singhvi questioned the locus standee of Reliance in the matter and also said the high court’s decision will affect a large number of consumers who have Airtel’s service.
Vodafone’s counsel and Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanian supported Airtel saying both the telecom companies have roaming pact and others should not have any objection.
However, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Reliance Communication, said what Airtel has been doing for two years was completely illegal as it did not have licence for 3G in seven circles, including Kolkata where it was selling the ‘SIM’ cards for 3G mobile connections.
The high court had allowed Reliance’s plea to be impeded as a party in the case filed by Bharti before the single judge.
Reliance had in its plea said “declare and hold 3G intra-circle roaming agreements entered into between Bharti and other service providers as illegal and in violation of Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.”
“It (Reliance) has paid thousands of crores for the 3G spectrum and Bharti is using it for free in as many as seven circles, therefore, disrupting the level-playing field. If this is allowed, then there is no requirement for any licensee to participate and purchase 3G spectrum in auction. This defeats the purpose of auction,” the plea also said.
Reliance said it was not made a party by Bharti in its plea before the single judge despite the fact that Reliance is directly affected by the relief sought by it.
The next court hearing on this case will be on 11th April.