The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the CAG report would not be the only basis for cancellation of 2G spectrum licences and it would extend a hearing to all the stakeholders.
A bench comprising Justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly added that it would scrutinise all government decisions, including regularisation of licences of operators who failed to abide by the roll-out obligations.
When counsel for the petitioner advocate Prashant Bhushan sought an interim direction to restrain the government from going ahead with the regularisation, the bench said: “Everything they (government) do after the filing of the petitions is subject to the outcome of the petitions.”
It told Bhushan: “We do not know what they are doing. But if they do, it is subject to the outcome of our order.” The bench said the petitioner’s application seeking interim directions to the government would be taken up on March 1, if the main petition seeking cancellation of the 2G spectrum licences is not heard.
The petitioner, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), has sought court direction to cancel licenses as the allocation of 2G spectrum violated the rules and had caused a R1.76-lakh-crore loss to the exchequer.
The court’s remarks came when advocates, representing the telecom companies, contended the petitioner’s claim that the allocation had caused the loss was based on the CAG report.
Attorney General GE Vahanvati said on behalf of the government that the issue of regularisation of licences was pending before TDSAT. He requested the court to grant him three weeks to file his response.
CPIL and Janata Party chief Subramanium Swamy have moved SC and sought cancellation of licences allotted during former telecom minister A Raja’s tenure.
Bhushan submitted spectrum was allocated without auction at the prices of 2001 and the cut-off date was advanced which resulted in the elimination of two-third of the applicants.
Eighty-five out of 122 entities were ineligible operators and 69 failed to meet roll-out obligations, Bhushan added.