New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the telecom firms whose licences were cancelled and didn't participate in fresh auction for 2G spectrum will cease to operate forthwith. Sistema and Tata Tele were among those who did not bid in the auction.
The court also ruled that the telecom firms which continued operation after cancellation of licences will pay fee as per the reserved price fixed for fresh auction in November 2012. The court said all 2G spectrum freed up when licences were cancelled must be auctioned
The apex court clarified that its February 2, 2012 order cancelling licences will not be applicable on telecom firms holding 900 MHZ band spectrum.
"The February 2, 2012 order will have no bearing on litigation relating to 900 MHz band," the bench said, adding that it (900 MHz band spectrum) was not the subject matter before it. The bench also directed to immediately put on fresh auction entire 2G spectrum for the licences cancelled by it.
However, telecom companies which were successful in the fresh auction held on November 12 and 14, 2012 will be asked to start their services in the respective circles immediately, the court ruled.
"The telecom companies which have been unsuccessful in the bidding and those after the cancellation of the licences did not participate in the fresh auction are directed to cease from continuing from operation forthwith and the successful bidders will immediately start in their respective circles," the court said.
A bench comprising justices GS Singhvi and KS Radhakrishnan directed that those telecom companies which were allowed to continue operation after scrapping of their licences by February 2, 2012 judgement will have to pay the reserved price fixed for the licences in the first round of the auction held in November 2012. The apex court by its interim orders had extended the deadline for them to continue with the operation.
(With additional information from PTI)