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2G: Supreme Court issues notice on review petition

Delhi,Business/Economy,Immigration/Law/Rights, Fri, 13 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to petitioners Centre for Public Interest Litigation and Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy on the government's plea seeking a review of its verdict cancelling 122 2G licences and holding that an auction was the only route for disposing of natural resources.


The apex court, by its Feb 2 verdict, held that the policy of allocating 2G licences on a first-come-first-served basis was flawed.


An apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice K.S.P. Radhakrishnan issued notice when Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Indira Jaising told the court that there were some questions that required revisiting.


Jaising told the court that the government was "not questioning the operative order or the ratio of the judgment but there are some questions that require revisiting".


She said that what was needed to be clarified was whether the Feb 2 judgment, holding that auction was the only way for giving natural resources to the private players, was applicable to all the resources.


Jaising asked the court that if auctioning was applicable in dealing with all the natural resources where there were other methods of allocating the resources.


As the banch wanted to know if the concern of the government was in respect of mining, Jaising while responding affirmatively said that there were concerns on the front of water also.


The court described Jaising's submissions as "apprehensions".


The ASG told the court that there could be other factors coming into play like social obligations, including the directive principles of state policy.


At the outset, the ASG told the court that the government had already set into motion the process of implementing the court's Feb 2 verdict but there were some issues regarding the schedule.


She told the court that a petition seeking an extension of time by 400 days was already before the court.


"If we don't succeed in adhering to the schedule set by the court then we will come back to the court," the ASG told the court.


Appearing for a telecom operator, senior counsel Harish Salve told the court to implead the service providers in the hearing of the review petition.


He said that they had time till June and if the court was to grant 400 days time to the government then for the next nine months from June telecom operators would be without licence and they would not be able to take next step.


The court declined the plea of Salve saying that they would get an opportunity to be impleaded at an appropriate time.


Centre for Public Interest Litigation counsel Prashant Bhushan opposed Salve's plea saying that only 5 percent of the total mobile subscribers were affected by the Feb 2 cancellation of the 2G licences.


The court would next hear the case May 1.


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