The government will not seek a review of the February 2 Supreme Court judgment, cancelling all the 122 telecom licences granted in 2008, but is likely to make a reference to the top court to get a final word on the allocation of natural resources.
The Supreme Court also termed the controversial First-Come, First-Served policy as “fundamentally flawed.” Hindustan Times has learnt that the PMO has already given a go-ahead to make a reference to the Supreme Court.
Now, on the advice of the cabinet, the President will formally write to the Chief Justice of India to constitute a special bench to hear the resource allocation-related issues.
The advantage of making a reference rather than filing a review petition before the apex court is that according to rules, the review will be heard by the same bench which earlier decided the case, while the reference will be heard by a larger bench, comprising either three or five judges.
According to Article 143 of the constitution, the President can refer matters of public interest to the Supreme Court, which will hear and decide on the clarifications sought.
This is only for the second time in its nearly eight-year tenure that the United Progressive Alliance government is seeking such a reference, the only other case being the water-sharing dispute between Punjab and Haryana, which it referred to the apex court in July 2004.