2G Spectrum case: Govt moves SC with Presidential Reference
The government on Thursday moved the Supreme Court with a Presidential Reference for its opinion on issues arising out of its 2G spectrum judgment including whether auctioning of natural resources across all sectors is mandatory and the verdict be given retrospective effect for radio waves granted since 1994.
It placed before the apex court the reference signed by President Pratibha Patil in which eight questions have been raised, including whether there could be judicial interference in policy matters, vis-a-vis disposal of natural resources and investments made by foreign investors under multi and bilateral agreements.
"Whether the judgment lays down that there are permissible methods for disposal of all natural resources across all sectors and in all circumstances is by the conduct of auction," the reference stated.
"Whether the court holds that within the permissible scope of judicial review that the policy is flawed, is the court not obliged to take into account investment made under the said policy including the investment made by foreign investors under the multi and bilateral agreements," it said.
"Whether the judgment is required to be given retrospective effect so as to unsettle the licences issued into 2G spectrum and allocated after 1994 till 2008," it said.
The issue cleared for Presidential Reference also touched the 3G spectrum allocated through "auction" and wanted to know implication of the judgment on it.
"Whether 3G spectrum acquired through the auction in 2010 by entities whose (2G) licences have been quashed in the judgment stands withdrawn," it asked.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had on April 10 cleared the Telecom Ministry's proposal to seek Supreme Court's opinion on various issues arising out of the February 2 judgment by which allocation of 122 2G licences on first-come-first-served policy was cancelled.
The court had also observed that auction was best suited route for allocating natural resources like telecom spectrum because the policy of first-come-first-serve was flawed.
In the reference, the government has sought the court's opinion on the question "whether in view of the judgment the telecom licences that were granted other than pursuant to an auction (1994 licences) may be said to be granted illegally and the telecom licence granted on the principle of first-come-first-served (the 2001, basic licences and licences between 2003 and 2007) may be said to have been granted illegally".
The next question on which it sought the court's opinion was "what further steps are required to be taken by the government to deal with such licences that may be said to have been granted illegally".
Further it said if the licences were held to be illegal is the government required to withdraw the spectrum allocated to the existing licencees or charge them with retrospective effect and at what price and from what date.
The government also sought opinion "whether in view of the judgment, the 2008 dual technology licence may be said to be illegal?"
It sought court's view that if the the dual technology licences are to be considered illegal what steps are to be taken by the government.
Another question on which the court's view has been sought is whether auction is the only legitimate mode of allocation of bands where there may not be competition like in the CDMA and where TRAI made recommendation in WLL.
- Asian Tribune -