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Apr 13, 2012, 07.11 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Govt has to stick to 2G auction for now: Harish Salve

Senior Supreme Court advocate Harish Salve tells CNBC-TV18 that it was because the SC found merit in the government’s view; hence it has decided to relook the 20 legal grounds that have been cited.

Harish Salve, Senior Advocate, SC

With the Supreme Court accepting and admitting the Centre’s review plea on the 2G licenses cancellation, the petitioner, that is the government, because of this order will have to formulate a single policy for distribution of all natural resources.

Senior Supreme Court advocate Harish Salve tells CNBC-TV18 that it was because the SC found merit in the government’s view; hence it has decided to relook the 20 legal grounds that have been cited.

Below is an edited transcript. Watch the accompanying video for more.

Q: The fact that the Supreme Court has admitted the government’s review petition. What are going to be the implications of this and also of the impending 2G auction?

A: They have not yet made it clear. They have issued notices to Prashant Bhushan and Subramanian Swamy, the two writ petitioners and they said they are going to hear it. Now they have issued notice for admission of the review and they have not admitted the review, which is the normal procedure. So they will now hear it in open court on May 1 and if the court is satisfied that these grounds are made out for review then they will consider what to do further.

I asked them about the telecom companies and they said ‘For the present we are not giving notice, but if necessary they would also hear the telecom companies’. Then the issue of clarification was brought up and they have made it clear in the order that the issuing of notice will not result in suspending the operation of Para 81 of the judgment, which means that what the government had been asked to do, there is no stay on that. So for the present the government must stay with the given timeline.

Q: With regard to the private companies, is there are possibility legally speaking for the affected private companies whose petitions had been dismissed earlier to somehow go ahead and make a case for a de novo hearing of the merits of their case because that has been their charge all along. They were not heard at the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court order essentially impacted their future and their business?

A: For the present in the review if the court finds merit in the government’s point that a judgment requires a relook on some of the legal issues, which the government has flagged and one of the legal issues, which the government has flagged is whether they did something wrong in failing to auction the licenses.

Now if the Supreme Court finds something worth considering in that then some of the companies may have a chance of addressing the courts. So it’s all open to be considered right now.

The other thing that the court also indicated very clearly that for the present the government’s application, which asks for more time, is not before them, but if at any point of time they extend time for the government then they would also consider whether or not the licenses have to be further extended.

Also Read: SC accepts GoI review petition on 2G cancellation

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