India court extends 2G auction deadline to Jan 2013

India's Supreme Court gives third extension to re-auction with orders for the government to complete process by Jan. 11, and allows carriers with existing licenses to operate until Jan. 18.

India's Supreme Court has again extended the deadline for the government to conduct the country's 2G spectrum auction to Jan. 11, 2013.

In a Hindustan Times report Monday, division bench of justices GS Singhvi and KS Radhakrishnan said the court will initiate contempt proceedings if the government does not complete the auction process by the extended deadline, and "exemplary costs may be imposed".

The new deadline is the third extension given by the court which had ordered the government to carry out a new round of auctions for 2G airwaves, after it revoked all existing 122 licenses in February this year. The first deadline was set for Jun. 2, and later pushed to Aug. 31 after pleas from India's Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The court also ruled carriers which licenses were to be revoked on Sep. 7 can continue to operate on their existing permits until Jan. 18 next year, the Hindustan Times reported. The DoT also announced details of the rules for participants in the impending 2G auction.

It said it will issue a notice on Sep. 28 inviting applications and interested parties to submit their applications by Oct. 19. The final list of bidders will be announced Nov. 6.

A mock auction will be carried out on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8. The actual auction of the 1800MHz band will commence Nov. 12, and the auction for 800 MHz band will be held two days later, the DoT said, adding that payment of successful bids must be done within 10 days after the respective auctions close.

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