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SC orders 3G auction to be finalised within two months

September 02, 2013
PTA officials estimate that a 3G auction could raise $1 billion in annual license fees.—File Photo
PTA officials estimate that a 3G auction could raise $1 billion in annual license fees.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the federation to complete the process of appointing Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and its members within ten days and present the report before the court.

The apex court also directed to finalise the auction of 3-G license within two months time.

The directions were given by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry during the hearing of 3-G technology case.

During the course of proceedings, counsel for the petitioner Ali Raza appeared before the bench and informed the court that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had already issued directions for the appointment of PTA chairman and members and that the IHC had also directed to seek fresh applications for the purpose.

However, the court observed that the applications sought on June 14 were not canceled and the process of seeking applications was still ongoing.

Deputy Attorney General Imran apprised the court that under the process 165 applications were received which were sent to the prime minister for the approval who had constituted a committee on it.

The bench inquired about the completion time for the whole appointment process, upon which the DAG replied that it would not take more than two weeks.

The chief justice remarked that due to delay in appointments the authority was already facing huge financial loss.

Ali Raza told the bench that there were a few other applications pending in the Lahore High Court as well; however the bench observed that while a committee had been constituted by the prime minister, the whole matter should not take more than a week.

The chief justice remarked that due to the non-auction of 3G, the national exchequer had to bear loss of billions of rupees.

After the break, the secretary cabinet appeared before the court and informed it that the government had suspended the June 14 advertisement for appointments.

Later, the bench ordered that the appointments in PTA be completed in ten days and the process of auction of 3G licenses be completed within 60 days.

The hearing was adjourned for further hearing until September 16.