NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Supreme Court on Monday asked the government to complete the 2G airwaves auction by January 11, 2013 and allowed those carriers whose licences are set to be revoked to operate until January 18, 2013, lawyers said, after the government sought more time to conduct the sale.
The country is for the first time selling 2G mobile radio airwaves through an open auction, following the court’s order in February to revoke all permits awarded in a scandal-tainted 2008 state grant process and redistribute them in an open bidding process.
The auction is the last chance for companies including Telenor (TEL.OL) and Sistema (SSAq.L) to win back their permits that are set to be revoked after court order.
The court had earlier ordered the government to conduct the auction by end-August and had said the affected companies can operate on their existing permits until September 7.
The government later sought time until November 12 to begin the auction and 40 days from the completion of auction to allocate frequencies. It estimates the auction to take about two months to be completed.
For detailed auction rules released on Monday, click link.reuters.com/pek32t
(Reporting by Suchitra Mohanty; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan)