More time sought for auction of spectrum

August 9th, 2012 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) The central government Thursday moved the Supreme Court for “further and final extension of time” for the auction and allocation of 122 2G licenses and spectrum that were cancelled by the apex court by its order of Feb 2, 2012.

The application by the government has said that it needed time till Nov 12, 2012, to commence the auction and another 40 days to complete auction and allocate licenses and spectrum.

The government said it needed further extension of time for the auction of 2G licenses in “public interest” to ensure that the “auction yielded maximum revenue to the government of India. It would, therefore, be in the interest of justice to grant the extension needed.”

The earlier extension of three months given by the apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan is due to expire Aug 31, 2012. By its April 24, 2012, order the court had given the government three months.

The apex court by its Feb 2, 2012, order had cancelled all the 122 licenses that were granted by former telecom minister A. Raja on and after Jan 10, 2008.

The court while cancelling the 2G licenses had given the government four months’ time till June 2 to complete the process of auctioning the cancelled licenses. This was also the date when the licenses that were cancelled were to be terminated.

The court gave the extension of three months till Aug 31 on the plea of the central government seeking 400 days’ time till March 2013 for conducting the auction of the cancelled licenses.

While seeking March 2013 deadline, the central government said it has already “undertaken a detailed examination of the steps involved in the conduct of the auction and the process of auction, commencing with the receipt of TRAI recommendations will take at least 400 days.”

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