Delhi HC agrees to hear PIL alleging unfair spectrum auction

Delhi HC agrees to hear PIL alleging unfair spectrum auction

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has agreed to hear PIL alleging unfair auctioning of 3G spectrum by the Centre.

The petition filed by an NGO, Society for Awareness and Development, said that the decision of the Department of Telecommunications not to auction the whole spectrum at one go is arbitrary and it was done to benefit some companies.

“The auction is being conducted in a completely non-transparent and an unfair manner only with a view to favouring certain identified parties," the petition said.

The information memorandum on auction suppresses the total available spectrum and only gives the figures of the spectrum proposed to be alloted, the petition said, adding that the decision is unfair, arbitrary and against public interest.

A bench comprising Chief Justice A.P. Shah and Justice S. Muralidhar, however, refused to stay the procedure for the 3G spectrum auction, scheduled to be held in January 2009.

The petitioner also pointed out the government’s decision is contrary to the TRAI recommendation that on 8 December had suggested that the spectrum should be auctioned at one go.

“The government should be directed to disclose the availability of present and future 3G spectrum and auction the entire spectrum available at one go," the petitioner said.

The Ministry of Communications, however, opposed the petition and advocate Sanjay Hegde argued that the plea should be dismissed.

The Court, after hearing their arguments, posted the matter for further hearing on 7 January.