SC turns down plea to return Presidential Reference
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday requested the Supreme Court to return the Presidential Reference arising out of its 2G spectrum verdict unanswered, as it would have a “deep impact” the CBI's case against the accused in the trial court.delhi Updated: Jul 12, 2012 02:01 IST
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday requested the Supreme Court to return the Presidential Reference arising out of its 2G spectrum verdict unanswered, as it would have a “deep impact” the CBI's case against the accused in the trial court.
“There is nothing to be lost if this reference is returned,” Swamy told a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia during arguments on maintainability of the Presidential Reference.But the court said a Presidential Reference could not be rejected on the ground of malafide.
Swamy said if there was any need to go into issues concerning allocation of natural resources, a fresh reference could be considered in future after completion of trial in the 2G scam case, in which former telecom minister A Raja is one of the accused. To a specific query from the CJI regarding “auction-only” policy suggested by a two-judge bench which cancelled 122 2G spectrum licences on February 2, 2012, Swamy said the main highlight of the verdict was “transparency” which had to be respected.
It was on petitions filed by Swamy and Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) that the Supreme Court held that scarce and valuable natural resources should be allocated through a transparent process of public auction.
CPIL counsel Prashant Bhushan too requested the court to return the reference unanswered. He contended that the propositions of law laid down in the February 2 verdict was based on public trust doctrine and was in public interest.
Bhushan said if the court chose to answer the reference it would lead to a strange situation as the two-judge verdict on 2G licence cancellation was binding on all while its judgment on the reference would be just a non-binding opinion.
“The basic object of the government in filing reference is to continue with this opaque, non-competitive, and arbitrary method of allocation of natural resources like minerals, oil etc. to favoured companies at throwaway prices,” Bhushan said.
Earlier, senior counsel Soli Sorabjee said it was not open to the SC to give an opinion on a judicial verdict while answering a Presidential Reference.