SC slams govt over 2G auction

November 20, 2012 - 4:58:56 am

New Delhi: The government yesterday came under fire for not complying with the Supreme Court’s order to auction the entire spectrum that became available following the cancellation of 122 2G licences in 22 circles in February.

“We were very unfairly not informed by the concerned officer that the entire spectrum was not being auctioned,” the court said, referring to the November 12 spectrum auction which evoked a poor response.

The court directed the telecom secretary to file an affidavit as to why there was no total compliance of its February 2 order, directing the allocation of spectrum in 2G band by way of auction.

The direction to the telecom secretary came after the apex court bench of Justice G S Singhvi and Justice K S Radhakrishnan rejected an affidavit filed on the issue by an under secretary.

Pulling up the central government, the court said: “They were expected to auction entire spectrum (which became available after the cancellation of 122 2G licences).” 

Holding back of even 0.1 percent of spectrum was not acceptable, the court said.

“It is not fair for the officer not to report to the court the correct facts,” the court said, observing that all through when extension of time was being sought that was under the impression that its order would be carried out in toto.

While refusing to accept the affidavit filed by the under secretary, department of telecommunications (DoT), the court recalled that on an earlier occasion it had rejected an affidavit filed by another officer and had sought an affidavit by the secretary, DoT.

The court on November 9, while adjourning the hearing in the matter, said: “After hearing the submissions of the learned additional solicitor general in the light of the documents produced by him, we deem it proper to adjourn the case to November 19 so that he may seek instructions from the concerned authority and file an affidavit on the issue of total compliance of Para 81(iii) of judgment dated February 2.”

Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) counsel Prashant Bhushan told the court that the entire process for auctioning 2G spectrum was designed in such a way that it was doomed to fail. IANS