The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay at this stage a Delhi High Court judgment declining to interfere with the 3G spectrum and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) auction slated for Friday.
A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and B.S. Chauhan, without granting any immediate relief, posted the Special Leave Petition challenging the High Court judgment for hearing on April 16.
The CJI told counsel for the appellant, “you are not the bidder. It is filed for somebody else.” Justice Chauhan observed “You are a “benami” litigant. You have no right to pray for stay of the auction process.”
Petitioner Umesh Joshi filed a Public Interest Litigation against the applications for auction of 3G and BWA spectrum on February 25, and fixing the last date of submission of applications on March 19. He questioned the short time given for submission of application forms, stating that the notice inviting tender violated the doctrine of a level playing field.
He contended that since only 20 to 25 days' time was given, only big bidders could participate in the auction. The only issue raised in the court was that the principle of level playing field was violated, and as a result, technical people could not be considered.
The High Court had rejected the petition stating that Mr. Joshi had approached the court at the last moment, at the behest of some unknown persons. “Since this writ petition is an abuse of the process of the court, we dismiss it with costs of Rs. 15,000,” the court had said.
In his appeal, Mr. Joshi prayed for quashing the High Court order and an interim stay of its operation.