The government on Monday defended the recent 2G auction and said it would give answers to all questions in its affidavit to the Supreme Court, which ticked off the Centre for being “casual” in handling the case.
Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said he would not respond to “oral observations” and would do so only when the apex court gave 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.
Mr. 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 a Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices G.S. Singhvi and K.S. Radhakrishnan said the “government is very casual in dealing with the matter” while turning down an affidavit filed by an Under Secretary-level officer and directed that it must be filed by the Secretary of the Department of Telecom.
On the court refusing to accept the affidavit filed by the Under-Secretary, Mr. Sibal said it was an “oversight” by the government and 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 court thinks that there will be enormous amount of credibility if the Secretary signs the affidavit,” he said.
Defending the 2G auction, he said every auction was different and so was the result. He expressed the hope that the auction would yield the desired results fetching Rs. 40,000 crore as estimated.
“We are hopeful. The remaining CDMA licences are to be sold,” he said. — PTI