Govt may seek time till Nov for spectrum auction

New Delhi: The Government may request the Supreme Court to extend the deadline for completing spectrum auction by about three months to November.

According to sources, as per the new schedule given by the agency which will operate the auction process, the bidding for the airwaves can be started only by early November.

"The bidding for spectrum is expected to start only by early November. The extension from the court will be sought accordingly," said an official source.

The Empowered Group of Ministers on telecom today decided to approach the apex court to seek an extension of August 31 deadline to complete the auction of airwaves.

"Auctioneer has given us schedule.we will approach the Supreme Court to place before them the fact what government has done. Also, we will place before them that in terms of this schedule, it is not possible to conduct auction by August 31," Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters after EGoM.

After cancelling 122 telecom licences in February, the Supreme Court had asked the government to complete auction by August 31 and extended the validity of quashed licences till September 7.

It is crucial for companies such as Sistema Shyam, Uninor and Videocon to win the auctions so as to be able to continue operations.

Sibal said the government will file an interim application before the court and request it to consider the facts as stated.

"As you know, (the validity of) licences has been extended till September 7. So, we will go back to the Supreme Court with interim application (IA) and request it to consider the fact as stated in the application," Sibal said.

Sources said that IA will be filed before the apex court within a week.