New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to grant 400 days to the government to complete the process of fresh auctioning of the 2G spectrum licences but extended the deadline for it from June 2 to August 31, 2012.

A bench of justices G S Singvhi and K S Radhakrishnan also said the existing licences for 2G spectrum will continue to be operational till September 7, 2012.

"In our view, it will be just and proper to partially accept the averments made in the application (by the Centre).

"Accordingly, the time specified for conducting the auction and grant of licences is extended upto August 31, 2012," said the bench.

The bench also said its February 2 order cancelling 122 licences, allocated during the tenure of A Raja, will remain operational.

The bench made it clear that it was not going to accept the Centre's prayer for allowing it 400 days to complete the process of auctioning radio waves.

The bench was hearing the Centre's application, seeking clarification of its direction in the February 2, 2012 judgement which had fixed June 2 as the deadline, when the 122 2G spectrum licenses, issued in 2008, would stand quashed. The court had asked the Centre to complete the process of fresh auctioning by June 2.

During the hearing, Attorney General G E Vahanvati tried to explain the practical difficulties and implication of the apex court order, which had asked the government to complete the entire exercise of fresh auctioning by June 2.

Vahanvati also appraised the bench about the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) recommendation which were announced on Monday.

(Agencies)