Government today defended the recent 2G auction and said it would give answers to all questions that have been raised in its affidavit to the Supreme Court, which today ticked off the Centre for being “casual” in handling the case.
Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said he would not respond to “oral observations” of the Supreme Court and will do so only when the apex court gives its order in writing.
“I don’t need to respond (to oral observations). This is just an oral observation. We will file the affidavit in a couple of days,” he told Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN.
Sibal said the Government had conducted the auction according to the recommendations of the TRAI and would explain in detail its stand in the affidavit.
The Minister was responding to questions after the Supreme Court bench of justices G.S.Singhvi and K.S.Radhakrishanan said the “Government is very casual in dealing with the matter” while turning down the affidavit filed by an Under Secretary-level officer on the matter and directed that it must be filed by Secretary of Department of Telecom.
On the court refusing to accept an affidavit filed by Under Secretary, Sibal said it was an “oversight” on the part of the government as he claimed that Under Secretaries sign affidavits as part of convention.
“But in a few cases, the Supreme Court specifically asked the Secretary to sign and it was done. Probably the Supreme Court thinks that there will enormous amount of credibility if the Secretary signs the affidavit,” he said.
Defending the 2G auction, he said every auction is different and so is their result. He also expressed hope that the auction would yield desired results coughing up Rs 40,000 crore as estimated.
“We are hopeful. Balance CDMA licences are to be sold,” he said.
Asked whether the base price would be reduced to encourage more participation, he parried the question saying he cannot discuss policy matters in public.