Supreme Court thrashes Government over 2G license cancellation

Supreme Court has thrashed Union Government for not implementing its order directing auctioning of 122 cancelled 2G licences in both letter and spirit and going in for a truncated auction.

“Prima facie we can say you are not complying with the court orders. You are playing with it. It is unfortunate,” apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan told Additional Solicitor General A.S. Chandhok as he submitted that not the entire spectrum that became available after the cancellation of licences was being auctioned.

Expressing its displeasure in no uncertain terms, the court asked Chandhok whether the government was implementing its direction in the 2G verdict cancelling 122 licences both in letter and spirit.

The court said that it thought that the government was seeking more time for implanting its orders but it was not so.

In a jibe at the government, the court observed: “Mr. Solicitor, we still have not developed the habit of forgetting.”

Chandhok told the court that there were no bidders for 800 MHz CDMA and there were only five bidders for 1800 MHz GSM.

He said that soon after the directions of the court, the Department of Telecom (DoT) approached Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), and TRAI’s recommendations were sent to the Telecom Commission.

When Chandhok said all this, the court replied: “You did not inform us that these are recommendations of TRAI and your position.”

Taking the government to task, the court asked Chandhok to file an affidavit stating the compliance of its Feb 2 order by which it had cancelled 122 licences and directed their auction.

Meanwhile, the apex court stayed all proceedings before the Delhi High Court wherein 20 applications had been filed by the accused in the 2G case, including former telecom minister A. Raja and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi.

While staying the high court proceedings, the court issued notice to all respondents.

Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal told the court that in pursuance of the apex court order, all appeals against the trial court order holding trial in 2G cases could not be made before the top court.

He said that some of the accused in their applications had sought the quashing of charges and others had sought their modifications.

He sought the staying of all the proceedings and transfer of all the records to the apex court.