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Centre moves Supreme Court seeking modification of 2012 verdict on 2G spectrum case | DETAILS

In its 2012 verdict, the Supreme Court emphasised that when dealing with meagre natural resources such as spectrum, it is the responsibility of the State to ensure a fair and non-discriminatory method of distribution and allocation, prioritizing national or public interest.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Updated on: April 23, 2024 17:17 IST
2G Specturm case, Supreme Court
Image Source : PTI The Supreme Court of India.

The Centre has approached the Supreme Court, more than a decade after the 2G spectrum case verdict, seeking a modification of the ruling. The 2012 verdict had mandated the auction route for transferring or alienating natural resources, leading to the cancellation of 2G spectrum licenses issued during A Raja's tenure as the telecom minister. The Attorney General representing the Centre has filed an interim application before a bench, seeking an urgent listing for modification of the verdict. The Centre aims to grant 2G spectrum licenses in certain cases and hence seeks a revision of the previous ruling.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who appeared for NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation which was one of the petitioners on whose plea the February 2012 verdict was delivered, opposed the application and said the issue has been well-settled by the apex court in its judgement that the auction is the only mode for granting licences for natural resources like spectrum, the radio frequencies allocated to the mobile phone industry for communication over the airwaves. "We will see, you please move an e-mail," the CJI told Venkataramani.

What did SC say in its 2012 verdict?

In its 2012 judgement, the apex court had said, "When it comes to alienation of scarce natural resources like spectrum etc, it is the burden of the State to ensure that a non-discriminatory method is adopted for distribution and alienation, which would necessarily result in protection of national/public interest”.

The top court had said in its view, a duly publicised auction conducted fairly and impartially was perhaps the best method for discharging this burden. "In other words, while transferring or alienating the natural resources, the State is duty bound to adopt the method of auction by giving wide publicity so that all eligible persons can participate in the process," it had said.

CBI moved Delhi HC against A Raja's acquittal

On March 22 this year, the Delhi High Court had admitted a CBI appeal against the acquittal of Raja and 16 others in the 2G spectrum allocation case, paving the way for hearing the matter six years after the plea was filed by the agency. Admitting the Central Bureau of Investigation's appeal, the high court had said there were "some contradictions" in the trial court's judgment which require "deeper examination". A special court had on December 21, 2017, acquitted Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others in the CBI and ED cases related to the 2G spectrum allocation.

On March 20, 2018, the CBI had approached the high court, challenging the special court's judgment. The CBI had alleged there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the top court on February 2, 2012.

ALSO READ:  2G case verdict: Raja, Kanimozhi, 17 others acquitted; CBI, ED to challenge decision | As it Happened

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