2G: SC to consider extending deadline if Govt gives undertaking

2G: SC to consider extending deadline if Govt gives undertaking

The Supreme Court today said it will consider extending the August 31 deadline for completing fresh auctioning of 2G spectrum licences only if the Centre gave an undertaking to implement its verdict and meet the time frame set by the Telecom Ministry.

A bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan asked the Telecom Secretary to file an affidavit giving an undertaking that the 122 2G spectrum licences cancelled by its February 2 judgement will be auctioned in a time-bound manner.

Setting conditions, the court said it will not accept the undertaking from officers below the rank of secretary. The undertaking was sought as the Centre has failed twice to meet the deadline set by the apex court for auctioning.

The court had earlier extended its original June 2 deadline to August 31, 2012, refusing to grant 400 days to the government to complete the process of fresh auctioning.
The bench, which fixed the matter for hearing on Monday, said that it expects the government to stick to the deadline given in the application.

In an application filed by the Telecom Ministry, the government said it needed time till November 12 to start the auction and another 40 days to complete the procedure and allocate licences and spectrum.

The decision to approach the apex court for extension of the time was taken at a meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers on telecom on August 7.

The application said that the entire exercise would be completed in three months and 23 days.

It had also said the existing licences for the 2G spectrum will continue to be operational till September 7, 2012.

The apex court on February 2 had cancelled 122 licences for the 2G spectrum and had directed their fresh auctioning by June 2.

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