Presidential Reference and Supreme Court Opinion - Trouble For UPA Governement

Published: Sunday, Sep 30,2012, 12:17 IST
Constitutional Bench, Supreme Court, Presidential reference, 2G spectrum case, Justice DK.Jain, Justice SH.Kapadia, Justice Dipak Mishra, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, ibtl opinion

Couple of days back Constitutional Bench of Supreme Court gave its Opinion on Presidential reference on 2G spectrum case. Government and its Slave Media houses went on a over drive and painted the Opinion as as a victory and vindication of  the Government Stand on 2G.

The Opinion of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Presidential reference is around 208 odd pages. Opinion of SC is extremely nuanced and clear on what the Government has to do the natural resources. Lawyers in Government selectively read the Opinion of SC on Presidential Reference and told the unsuspecting people that its a vindication of Government's stand.

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We need to know a  few things before we get into the details of the Opinion.

01. No one in court argued for auctioning off all the Natural Resources under all circumstances.

02. Presidential reference has 12 questions to Supreme Court and asked the Court for Clarity of 2G Judgement. Supreme Court refused to answer 10 out off the 12 questions and it answered only 2 specific questions.

03. Justice DK.Jain Wrote the Opinion for himself and other Judges namely Justice SH.Kapadia, Justice Dipak Mishra and Justice Ranjan Gogoi.  Justice Jagadish Singh Khehar wrote an Opinion for himself.

Lets get into the details of the Opinion on Presidential Reference.

Supreme Court has said there is no going back on Spectrum Auction.  It has clearly stated that if Government has to Maximize revenue or reduced Profiteering then Auction is the only way out.

Court has opined that Government has right to formulate the Policy. Court has also said the Government can't form a policy arbitrarily and the citizen has every right to question the government on its Policies in a Court of Law.

Court has also observed the FCFS policy of the government was not followed in letter and spirit.

Supreme Court has opined that auction is the way forward in 2G spectrum case because the companies got spectrum sold the the spectrum to foreign companies at 8-10 times the value they paid for spectrum. SC is of the opinion its a revenue foregone by the Government and its a loss to the exchequer. So the SC asked the Government to go for the Auction of spectrum.

Department of Telecom has given a road map on how it will do the auction of 2G spectrum and said it will conclude the auction by January 13th 2013. Dept of Telecom told the SC it expects a revenue of Rs. 7 Lac crores from the auction which is 5 times more than the CAG audit figure of Rs.1.76 Lac crores. Its a news that was not reported by any Main Stream Media.

Supreme Court is of the Opinion that if the Natural Resources allocated by the government arbitrarily to Private players results in windfall profit to the private players and government loses its fair share of revenue then Court has every right to cancel the allocation.

The Coal allocation as well the 2G allocation has not resulted in Public good. It has resulted in Private Players maximizing profit and Govt loses out on it rightful revenue.
Media which is painting this Opinion of Supreme Court as a Victory to Governement needs to read Paragraph 145 in page 139 to Paragraph 152 in Page 144 of the Justice DK.Jain part of the opinion to the Presidential reference. It clearly shows Government is for more trouble when coal scam PIL gets heard in the the Supreme Court.

Justice Jagadish Singh Khehar's part of the the opinion to the Presidential Reference is more damning on the Govt both on 2G and coal Scam. Justice Khehar has quoted Section 11 A of the Mine and Minerals Development act on 1957 to further his point for competitive bidding for Natural Resources.

Government is not realising what is there in the SC opinion. They should read Justice Jagadish Singh Kehar's part and then realize the challenges forward.

The five Judge Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court has indirectly asked the Government to cancel all the coal block allocation as this allocation was done in an arbitrary fashion without taking the Public good into consideration.

The Court also opined that even if the Parliament does not adopt the CAG report this court will give due importance to CAG and its findings.

Supreme Court's Opinion on Presidential reference is very clear that Government can formulate the polices and implement those polices in the right spirit. If anyone feels aggrieved then they can knock the doors of the court to settle the issue.

Government instead seeing it as a victory and vindication of its stand, It should read the Opinion fully and get to know of the nuanced opinion fully. Same holds good for the media too,

This Opinion of the Supreme court lands this government in further trouble. Brilliant activists and Lawyers can use this Opinion to screw this government further in the court of law.
If we go by the tone and tenor of the opinion of Supreme Court on Presidential reference shows they will cancel the Coal Block Allocation if they find the allocation arbitrary.

This Opinion has vindicated the stand of Dr.Swamy/Bhushan and BJP on 2G and Coal Scam.

Premature Celebration by government will come back and haunt them when the Apex court hears the PIL on coal scam.

Would be interesting to on how the media reacts when Apex Court hears the PIL on coal scam.  Guess they will have Egg on their face.

Author : Narayanan | Follow the writer on twitter/visaraj
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Disclaimer: The author is a commentator on issues of national interest. These are his personal views and do not necessarily reflect IBTL's opinion.
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