Supreme Court fiat to Govt, telecom firms on 2G spectrum issue
The court also said the decision to reduce the bidding price after the first round of auction for spectrum is bound to evoke further litigation.
Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), which was one of the PIL petitioners on whose plea the licences of 2G were cancelled, said existing operators should not be allowed to continue as consumers have the option to move to other service providers.
The Centre had asked the court to consider allowing telecom operators, whose 2G licences were cancelled last year, to continue to operate after the January 18 deadline with a condition that they "will be liable to pay" for the spectrum as per the proposed price of the upcoming auction on March 11.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) had stated its stand in an affidavit which assumes importance as the court has permitted the telecom operators to continue to operate till January 18.
The DoT had asked the apex court to consider allowing it to grant "temporary licences" to such operators till the completion of the fresh bidding process.
It said this plea could be taken into account if the court decides not to extend any further the January 18 deadline as "such an arrangement will avoid disruption of services to the subscribers on one hand and safeguard public revenue on the other".
As per the apex court order, 21 licences
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