SC grills govt on 2G spectrum allocation

Grilling the government on its 2G spectrum allocation policy, the Supreme Court Wednesday termed as improper the bypassing of the Prime Minister`s reservations by the Telecom Ministry.

Last Updated: Dec 01, 2010, 15:42 PM IST

New Delhi: Grilling the government on its
2G spectrum allocation policy, the Supreme Court Wednesday termed
as improper the bypassing of the Prime Minister`s reservations
by the Telecom Ministry which cannot function like a "private
business house".

"There is more than what meets the eyes," the court
observed while asking the government several searching
questions on its policy for allocating 2G spectrum.

It noted that only 45 minutes were given to prospective
licensees for submitting documents including demand draft and
completing other formalities.

The bench comprising justices GS Singhvi and AK
Ganguly, in a sarcastic manner, wondered whether the
government acted through telepathy to convey them about the
impending allocation within a fraction of 45 minutes.

It observed that the entire system has been brought to
disrepute.

"The Prime Minister had made his reservations clear
which were not treated with respect. There are requirements of
collective responsibility. Government is not like a private
business house. Its action has to be reasonable and in public
interest," the bench observed while hearing the petition filed
by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation on the spectrum
scam.

"In the context of sequence of events, bypassing the
Prime Minister was not at all proper," it said.

"Would you not call this type of terms by the
government as arbitrary," the court asked when Solicitor
General Gopal Subramanium was making submission on the policy
related to the spectrum allocation.

"Would you consider this as a reasonable way of
functioning by the government department?" it asked.

Subramanium said, "Not at all. I do not think so.
There needs to be more transparent procedure."

PTI