The Supreme Court has allowed the government to complete the 2G spectrum auction by January 11, 2013.

The court had earlier set August 31 as the date by which the auction had to be completed. But the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had asked for an extension.

The apex court said it will initiate contempt proceedings if the government failed to complete the auction process within the new deadline.

"Exemplary costs may be imposed in the event of failure to complete auction process within the deadline," a division bench of justices G.S. Singhvi and K.S. Radhakrishnan said in its ruling.

SC had cancelled 122 licences February 2 and ordered the government to redistribute the licences through an auction process. It had set a deadline of June 2 which was later extended to August 31 on DoT's plea.

The government had sought time until November 12 to begin the auction and 40 days from the completion of auction to allocate frequencies.

The Supreme Court also ruled that operators whose licences would have been cancelled September 7 could continue their services till January 18.

Earlier during the day, the government had laid out an information memorandum, detailing the rules and regulations for the auction and potential bidders.

DoT said it will issue a notice inviting applications September 28 and the last date of submission of application will be October 19.

The final list of bidders will be announced November 6. This will be followed by a mock auction November 7 and 8 and thereafter the e-auction of 1800 MHz band will take place November 12.

The start of e-auction of 800 MHz band will happen two days after close of the 1800 MHz band auction.

The payment of the successful bid amount will have to be done within 10 days days of the close of the respective e-auctions, DoT added.

Keywords: Supreme Court ,2G spectrum, Department of Telecommunications ,DoT, extension,justices G.S. Singhvi , K.S. Radhakrishnan, licences, DoT's plea, MHz band ,business news