2G Scam | DoT files clarification plea in SC
DoT has also asked the court if it expects a similar procedure should be followed as was used in the 3G spectrum auction in 2010
New Delhi: The department of telecommunications (DoT) filed a petition in the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking clarification on the timeline for auctioning 2G spectrum.
The apex court had on 2 February ordered a fresh auction of 2G spectrum after cancelling the 122 licences allocated to nine telecom service providers.
A DoT official said that while a fresh auction will need around 400 days, the court has given the government a mere four months. “It is difficult for it to be completed in this time as there are many issues that have to be looked into,” the official said, declining to be identified.
DoT has also asked the court if it expects a similar procedure should be followed as was used in the 3G spectrum auction in 2010.
The apex court cancelled the licences ruling that the previous 2G spectrum allocation process was flawed and had caused significant losses to the exchequer.
Telecom secretary R. Chandrashekhar said on Wednesday that an auction for 2G spectrum cannot be completed before mid-2013. He said DoT may not seek a review of the Supreme Court verdict but may ask for a review of certain issues.
The review, expected to be filed on Friday, will be sought on the legality of the first-come-first-served policy employed in 2008, and whether other licences and spectrum allocated on the same policy should be treated in the same way, said the unnamed DoT official quoted earlier.
Connecting points: Telecom secretary R. Chandrashekhar said on Wednesday that an auction for 2G spectrum cannot be completed before mid-2013. Pradeep Gaur/mint
Along with new operators—Unitech Wireless Pvt. Ltd (Uninor), Etisalat DB Telecom Pvt. Ltd (Cheers), Loop Telecom, Videocon Telecommunications, Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd and STel Ltd—incumbent operators including Tata Teleservices Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd saw some of their licences cancelled by the Supreme Court’s verdict.
Last week, Idea Cellular filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking clarity as to the grounds on which its licences had been linked to those allocated in January 2008.
On Wednesday, Tata Teleservices also filed a petition asking the court to review its order cancelling its licences in three circles.