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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

2G spectrum: SC calls for files on 2011 press release

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 28, 2012
First Published: 01:02 IST(28/11/2012) | Last Updated: 01:04 IST(28/11/2012)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to produce all the files related to a January 2011 press release, which had declared its decision to auction 2G spectrum in the future.

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A special bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice KS Radhakrishnan said it wanted the government to submit all the details on the telecom policy formulated after Kapil Sibal took over as Union telecom minister.

The court’s act of calling for the files is of significance because it is considering an application objecting to the government’s recent move of auctioning spectrum partially. According to the court, its February 2012 verdict cancelling the 122 2G licences was based on a government policy spelt out in the January 2011 release.

The court now probably wants to ascertain whether the government’s present stand to withhold part of spectrum on grounds of “refarming” was included in the policy. The court fixed December 5 for further hearings on the application filed by COAI and Idea — which objected to the partial auction.

Meanwhile, the court said that telecom operators, whose licences were cancelled but continued to operate due to the delay in holding fresh auction of 2G spectrum, might have to pay for using radiowaves on the basis of the current price. It also directed the CBI, I-T department and ED to hold joint meetings twice a month to oversee the progress of the 2G probe.


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