Auction of 3G spectrum to go ahead as SC, HC reject stay

An apex court bench comprising Chief Justice K B Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan said it cannot stop the auction process now.
However, the bench has directed to list the Special Leave Petition filed against the order of the Delhi High Court, which had earlier dismissed the petition of one Umesh Joshi, for hearing on April 16.

Nine mobile operators, including India's top six private mobile operators, will bid for the 3G spectrum and Broadband Wireless Access(BWA). Winners will be able to offer customers high-speed voice and data transfer and multimedia services.

The apex court also raised questions on the credentials of the petitioner asking "you are not a bidder in this ... you have no right to pray for stay of the auction process."
"You are here for someone else," the bench said.The apex court's direction came on a petition filed by Joshi who alleged that by auctioning 3G spectrum, government was violating the doctrine of "level playing field" by not placing all the competitors equally.
He submitted that in its notice on February 25, 2010, inviting bids in just 20 to 25 days for the auction of 3G spectrum and BWA was "arbitrary and whimsical".

Joshi also requested the apex court to lift the stay the order of the High Court which had on March 19 directed him to pay a cost of Rs 15,000 after observing that he has not come here with clean hands and approached the court on the behest of some other persons interested in the auction.

Another petition filed by an NGO to stop the auction was also set aside today by the Delhi High Court which said the objections raised against it were "misconceived".
A bench headed by acting Chief Justice Madan B Lokur rejected the objections raised by an NGO regarding auctioning of 3G spectrum.

The NGO, Society for Awareness and Development, said in its plea that government did not follow the guidelines of the regulatory body TRAI and only existing players participated in the process.The government, on the other hand, contended that the petition was filed with the sole purpose for halting the auction and there were some vested interests behind the filing of the petition.

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