Top court urges careful reporting on auction
ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of the contradictory media reports on the auction of 3G and 4G spectrum, the Supreme Court on Wednesday observed it expected the media would not carry reports that might harm the auction process.
A three-judge bench of apex court – headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja – was hearing a petition seeking a direction for urgent auction of 3G cellular licence, utilisation of the Universal Services Fund (USF) and appointment of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s (PTA) chairman and board members.
Appearing before the court, PTA Chairman Syed Ismail Shah said the 3G and 4G licence’s auction had been misreported in the media, which, he apprehended, might adversely affect the auction process. Upon this, the bench said the bidders were qualified market players familiar with telecom sector. “Therefore, it is expected that they will not get influenced by the press reports.”
However, the court recorded the apprehension of the PTA chairman and said that the auction was necessary because of the high demand of the technology. The PTA chairman told the bench that it expected to get $1.3billion from the auction as all the bidders had already submitted 15% of the token amount.
The court directed the federal government not to use the money and keep it in the Federal Consolidated Fund, till the decision of the case.
The hearing of the case is adjourned till the second week of May.