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SC allows finalisation of telecom spectrum bids

New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the government to finalise the auction of telecom spectrum and announce the winners, but with a caveat.

The finalisation of the results will be subject to the outcome of the cases being heard by the apex court.

The telecom auction concluded on Wednesday after 19 days, with a total bid commitment of nearly Rs.110,000 crores from the eight players in the fray.

Recording submissions by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and the rival counsel including P. Chidambaram appearing for mobile operators, the apex court bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Prafulla C. Pant in their order said: “We are inclined to modify our order and allow the Union of India to finalise auction and proceed further.”

All the successful bidders shall be intimated that the auction will be finalised subject to the outcome of the hearing of matter by the court, the court said in its order.

As the court appeared to relax its earlier order of February 26 restraining the government from finalising the bids, Chidambaram told the court that it was like pushing the envelope, inch by inch, towards their goal.

At the outset of the hearing, Rohatgi told the court that the auction was a tremendous success.

Seeking the modification of the February 26 order, Rohatgi told the court that the government could then persuade the successful bidders to make the initial payment which is Rs.28,000 crores and has already been factored into the budget.

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