Centre playing with our 2G order: SC

Nov 09 2012, 19:24 IST
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SC took strong exception to govt not putting on auction entire 2G spectrum cancelled by it. (PTI) SC took strong exception to govt not putting on auction entire 2G spectrum cancelled by it. (PTI)
SummarySC took strong exception to govt not putting on auction entire 2G spectrum cancelled by it.

The Supreme Court (SC) today took strong exception to government decision of not putting on auction the entire 2G spectrum cancelled by it saying the Centre is "playing" with its order.

The apex court pulled up the Centre for restricting the the sale of spectrum and sought an explanation for not putting on auction the entire radiowaves cancelled by it on February 2.

"We can tell you clearly that you are not implementing our order but prima facie playing with our order," the bench of justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishanan said while asking the government to explain on next date of hearing on November 19 when the court will reopen after Diwali.

"You are required to put spectrum of all 22 service areas cancelled by us on auction," the bench said, adding, "We are very clear that in terms of our direction you have to undertake the exercise for grant of licences for 2G spectrum in all the 22 circles".

The bench wanted to know why the Centre has not informed it during the last ten months after its order was passed on February 2 since the case has been taken up for hearing many times.

"We always believed that you are implementing our order in letter and spirit," the bench said and remarked in a lighter vein, "We have not so far started forgetting things".

The bench, however, made it clear the auction process which is scheduled for November 12 will go on.

While the Addition Solicitor General A S Chandhiok was making submission on the issue of auction, the bench said it was only concerned with its direction that all spectrum which was cancelled by it on February 2, 2012 was put for auction.

The centre, however, tried to justify its decision saying that it was done on the recommendation of TRAI. However, the bench was not satisfied with the explanation and said "it is your decision" and wondered why it was never earlier told about the recommendation of the regulating body.

The apex court was hearing a plea by an association of GSM mobile operators seeking inclusion of airwaves allocated to two Tata Group companies in the fresh auction of 122 cancelled 2G spectrum licenses.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has also sought a direction for auction 170 MHz more spectrum in the bidding.

COAI, an apex body of GSM operators, has sought the apex court's direction that all spectrum vacated by

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