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Failed bidders in fresh 2G auction to cease operation, says Supreme court

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Supreme court orders revoked telecom permit holders to stop operations. (Reuters) Supreme court orders revoked telecom permit holders to stop operations. (Reuters)
SummaryMobile phone carriers in India, whose permits were ordered to be revoked by SC.

The Supreme Court today held that telecom companies which were unsuccessful in availing fresh 2G spectrum and those which did not participate in the auction process will cease to operate "forthwith".

However, telecom companies which were successful in the fresh auction held on November 12 and 14, 2012 will be asked to start their services in the respective circles immediately, the court ruled.

"The telecom companies which have been unsuccessful in the bidding and those after the cancellation of the licences did not participate in the fresh auction are directed to cease from continuing from operation forthwith and the successful bidders will immediately start in their respective circles," the court said.

A Bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan directed that those telecom companies which were allowed to continue operation after scrapping of their licences by February 2, 2012 judgement will have to pay the reserved price fixed for the licences in the first round of the auction held in November 2012.

The apex court by its interim orders had extended the deadline for them to continue with the operation.

The bench clarified that the apex court's Feb 2, 2012 judgement will not be applicable on telecom companies holding the spectrum with 900 MHz band.

"The February 2, 2012 order will have no bearing on litigation relating to 900 MHz band," the bench said, adding that it (900 MHz band spectrum) was not the subject matter before it.

The Bench also directed to immediately put on fresh auction entire 2G spectrum for the licences cancelled by it.

(Reuters) Mobile phone carriers in India, whose permits were ordered to be revoked by the Supreme Court, will have to stop operations immediately if they did not win airwaves in an auction last November, the top court ordered on Friday, according to a lawyer on the case.

The apex court had on February 2, last year cancelled 122 licences for 2G spectrum and had directed the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) to hold fresh auction for them within four months. The deadline was extended by its interim orders from time to time.

As per the apex court order, 21 licences of Sistema Shyam Teleservices (MTS), 16 permits of Telenor controlled Uninor, 15 of Videocon and 3 CDMA permits of Tata Teleservices were to stand cancelled from January 18, affecting around 25 crore subscribers in the country.

Telenor is in the process of transferring the business of Uninor in 6 circles

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