Centre made 'casual' attempt to auction 2G spectrum: SC

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2G Spectrum
New Delhi, Nov 19: The Supreme Court today slammed the Centre for making a "casual" attempt to auction 2G spectrum and also for withholding information about last week's sale of airwaves.

Justice Singhvi observed that instead of auctioning the entire spectrum that was vacated earlier this year when the apex court cancelled as many as 122 licenses, the government failed to auction 32 per cent of the airwaves.

The Supreme Court stressed that its Feb 2012 order to the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) must be fully complied with. Rejecting an under secretary-level officer's affidavit, Justice Singhvi chided the DoT for allowing "lower ranking officials" to handle the matter.

He ordered the DoT secretary to submit another affidavit mentioning whether the department has acted in accordance with the court's order. The fresh affidavit has to be filed within two days.

Citing the DoT's plea for more time, Justice Singhvi pulled up the government for not informing the court that only a portion of the airwaves are being put up for sale.

The DoT should have represented the facts correctly, the apex court said. The next hearing in the case has been fixed for Nov 23.

Last month, anti-corruption activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan had pointed out that the Centre was ignoring the Supreme Court's guidelines regarding auction of 2G spectrum.

Incidentally, Reserve Bank Governor D Subbarao told a special CBI court here today that he had written to the Telecom secretary in 2007 about his opinion on the spectrum fee for pan-India licence. 

Subbarao who served as the Finance secretary from Apr 2007 to Sep 2008 said that he had questioned why the DoT wanted to let companies which were bidding for pan-India licence pay just Rs 1600 crore, the spectrum fee fixed in 2001, six years down the line.

Special CBI Judge OP Saini has been hearing the 2G case for more than 12 months now.

OneIndia News 

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