SC agrees to hear banks in Aircel-Maxis case on February 3

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear on February 3 the plea of consortium of banks led by State Bank of India that it be heard in the Aircel-Maxis 2G spectrum case as it has got financial exposure in the firm concerned.

A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said that it would hear the plea on the date fixed in the case when Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for banks, sought urgent hearing on the ground that the PSU financial institutions had lent money to Aircel.

The apex court had earlier taken a tough stand and restrained transfer of 2G licences from Malaysia’s Maxis, which was originally allotted to Aircel, to any other telecom firms.

It had said that the Malaysian businessman T Ananda Krishnan, the owner of Maxis Group, and Ralph Marshall, an officer of the company, will have to make appearance before it on February 3 otherwise the 2G licences granted to Aircel shall be seized.

Rohatgi told the bench, also comprising Justices N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud, that the banks, having substantial exposure in the telecom company would be an affected party.

Earlier on January 6, the apex court had restrained transfer of 2G licences from Malaysia’s Maxis to any other firm after taking serious note of the fact that the officials of the foreign company have been avoiding judicial process here.

The bench had proposed to restrain earning of any revenue by using the 2G spectrum licences which were originally granted to Aircel in 2006.

It had also asked the Telecom Ministry to devise ways and means to avoid adverse consequences following the order to Aircel subscribers by provisionally transferring 2G licences to others service providers.

“We cannot tolerate a person using the national resource such as spectrum of India and not honouring court notice,” the bench had said, adding that Ananda Krishnan cannot evade law.