2G case: Apex court allows review petition withdrawal
New Delhi, May 10 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday allowed the government to withdraw its petition seeking a review of the apex court verdict cancelling 122 licences that were allocated in and after January 2008 by the then telecom minister A. Raja.
The apex court bench headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi granted withdrawal of the review petition but not before objecting to a May 8 letter which asked Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia to place the plea before an appropriate bench.
The court wondered what was the need for the government to write the letter when the matter was to come up for hearing May 10. It also noted that in the past, similar withdrawal of petition was done by way of oral mentioning before the court.
The government had sought the review of the Feb 2 apex court order which, while cancelling the 122 telecom licences, said henceforth all the natural resources would be allocated only through auction process.
The government withdrew its petition because of the limited scope of review that the court had agreed to undertake.
The Centre for Public Interest Litigation opposed the withdrawal of review petition alleging that the central government was indulging in forum shopping by way of presidential reference which had the same prayers which are in the review petition.
The Supreme Court in February cancelled 122 spectrum licences allocated during telecom minister Raja's tenure. It also ruled that all natural resources should be allocated through an auction, which the government is now preparing to do in the case of the cancelled licences.
Apart from 19 individuals, six telecom companies have also been named as accused in the case.
Raja resigned as telecom minister Nov 14, 2010 in the wake of the Comptroller and Auditor General reporting that his 2008 decision to allocate 2G spectrum on a first-come-first-served basis had caused the exchequer a presumptive loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore. The CBI arrested him Feb 2, 2011.
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