2G case: CPIL opposes Presidential Reference

Written by Indu Bhan | Indu Bhan | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 5 2012, 08:53am hrs
Opposing the Presidential Reference sought by the government in the 2G spectrum scam, the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) has told the Supreme Court (SC) that the President or the government cannot invoke the advisory jurisdiction of the apex court to seek review of any judgment or question the correctness of any judgment.

It has also accused the government of indulging in forum shopping by filing the Reference raising the same issues as were raised in its review petition in the 2G case. The review plea was withdrawn after all review petitions by telecom companies were dismissed and a limited notice was issued on the governments plea.

... the government has still opted to file this Reference so that it can continue with its opaque, inefficient and corrupt system of allocation of precious natural resources to big industrialists, the NGO said .

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia had also on May 11 issued a notice to CPIL and Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, on whose petitions the court had quashed the allotment of 122 licences granted during the tenure of former telecom minister A Raja, now on bail.

The bench has also stated that will begin on July 10 hearing on the Presidential Reference moved by the government on April 12 on issues that emerged from its judgment of February 2 to cancel telecom licences issued in January 2008. However, the bench had clarified that it will not go into the 2G allotments that were struck down by a division bench of the court. The larger questions with implications for the economy will be decided first.

Stating that the government had failed to point out why it is opposed to auctioning scarce natural resources, and through what other alternative methods it wishes to alienate them, CPIL in its reply said that public auctions ensure fair market value of the resource, promotes transparency, fairness, and speed and ensures a level playing field and equity amongst similarly placed candidates.

CPIL also pointed out that the apex court in the 2G judgment had never stated that every natural resource should be allocated, and they must be allocated through auction.