Millennium Post

Spectrum bidding for NE: apex Court to decide on dispute

Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would take a decision on the dispute between the government and private telecom operators on the issue of bidding of spectrum for the north-east circle, instead of leaving it to the Tripura High Court.

“We make it clear that the order of the High Court would not be relied upon by any of the parties,” a bench comprising Justices Dipak Mishra and Adarsh Kumar Goel said while posting the matter for hearing on February 25.

The bench was hearing an appeal filed by the Centre seeking stay on the High Court’s interim order allowing telecom firms Bharti Hexacom Ltd and Reliance Telecom Ltd to submit two bids for a total of 8.8 MHz spectrum in the north- east circle. Senior advocates P Chidambaram and L Nageshwar Rao, appearing for Reliance Telecom and Bharti respectively, opposed the submission of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the high court’s order would give rise to lot of petitions on the issue.  

The bench said it would examine the issue in the backdrop of the recommendations of the
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Rohatgi submitted that two private companies have been resorting to all tactics to retain their licences which are expiring after 20 years by the year-end and trying to upset the auction process starting on March 4.
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