New Delhi: Various state governments and corporate bodies Thursday supported in the Supreme Court the Centre's stand that all natural resources cannot be allocated to private companies only through auction as directed by the apex court in 2G spectrum verdict.
Appearing before a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia, senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), contended the verdict was specific to spectrum allocation and it cannot be applied to all natural resources.
He was arguing on a reference sent by the President seeking a clarification from the apex court on the February 2 judgment of a Supreme Court bench in which it was held that all natural resources in all sectors should be allocated through auction.
The bench, also comprising justices D K Jain, J S Khehar, Dipak Mishra and Ranjan Gogoi, was told that in several judgments it has been held that it is not necessary that in all cases of transfer or alienation of resources, the State is duty-bound to adopt the method of auction.
Earlier, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) had said the 2G verdict has international implications as the apex court has entered into the domain of policy-making by holding the first-come-first-serve (FCFS) policy as illegal and unconstitutional.
Justifying the Presidential reference, the Centre had on Wednesday concluded its arguments and said "the basis underlying the Presidential reference is to reconcile the said judgments with the recent statement of law. This is where doubts arise. If the recent restatement of law is not in conformity with the earlier judgments, then the government is placed in a predicament as stated in the Reference".