BJP joins issue with govt on interpreting SC verdict
New Delhi: BJP on Saturday joined issue with the government on the interpretation of the Supreme Court judgement on natural resources allocation, saying no attempt should be made to use the judgement to justify "wrong" decisions and "malign or forewarn" constitutional authorities.
Batting for CAG without naming it, BJP attacked the Union Cabinet ministers who had said yesterday that the Supreme Court observation about auction not being the sole method of allocation of natural resources vindicated their stand.
The ministers had also said CAG should keep this mind while doing its job.
"I hope that there is no attempt by the union ministers to interprete this Supreme Court judgement in their favour just to justify their wrong policy decisions.
To malign, to forewarn, or to caution a constitutional authority is an unacceptable and condemnable practice which the government should not indulge in," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
She said the government should not use the "advisory" of the apex court to "whip another constitutional authority".
"Every constitutional authority in the country is doing its job. And the courts are there to deal with it (any breach of their responsibility)," Sitharaman said.
The party expressed surprise at the interpretation arrived at by the union ministers and said the judgement was quite "explicit" in stating that auction and competitive bidding were the way to go in all cases of commercial exploitation of natural resources.
"They (the ministers) have gone on a elaborate way to talk about it. BJP finds this again an attempt by the union ministers- and earlier the Prime Minister himself was on board on this- commenting on another constitutional authority," Sitharaman said.
BJP took exception to the ministers "almost using the judgement to forewarn constitutional authorities" about how they should do their job.
The party alleged the ministers have gone to the extent of saying constitutional authorities in future will have to bear this in mind while discharging their functions.
"We feel there should not be an attempt to interpret this very clearly laid out view of the Supreme Court to justify what is being done by the government.
It has said each case should be approached distinctly on a case-by-case manner and the court has authority to look into whether a decision was fair or not or whether it falls foul of Article 14 of the Constitution," Sitharaman said.
The main opposition alleged the government is trying to self judge and re-infer the judgement and justify its acts.
It maintained this judgement is applicable to the coal block allocation issue also and the government should have gone for auctions.
"The cabinet ministers should refrain from justifying what they are doing if they are wrong. I think they are stretching this presidential reference a bit too far," Sitharaman said.