New Delhi: The Supreme Court today made it clear that the auction for 2G spectrum will go ahead according to the schedule from March 4 subject to the outcome of matter before it. “Let the auction go on and let us see what emerges from it,” a bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and Adarsh Kumar Goel said, adding that it’s outcome will not be finalised without the apex court’s permission. The bench, which declined to stay the auction process for ‘some days’, said no bidder, if successful, shall claim any equity in the bidding process.
“There is prima facie inconsistency in the stand of the government but that is not a ground for staying it (the auction),” it said while posting the matter for further hearing on March 26. The Centre on January 9 had issued notice inviting applications for all the 17 circles. The issue of upcoming auction had first come to the apex court after the Centre had filed an appeal against the interim order of the Tripura High Court allowing telecom firms Bharti Hexacom Ltd and Reliance Telecom Ltd to submit two separate bids for a total of 8.8 MHz spectrum in the north-east circle.
It had yesterday stayed proceedings before various High Courts and decided to hear on priority basis a batch of petitions raising various issues against the tender conditions for the auction of 2G spectrum. The Centre today submitted that the existing telecom service providers, Dishnet and BSNL holding 4.4MHz of spectrum each in north-eastern states and whose licences were ending in 2017, could top it up by bidding for a minimum of 0.6 MHz to take it 5 MHz.
Senior advocate P Chidambaram, appearing for Reliance Telecom, said his client will be in a position of disadvantage due to the auction norms and claimed that only one service provider Dishnet will be the beneficiary of this policy.