Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati, during his arguments in the Supreme Court on Thursday, countered the arguments that the apex court should not entertain the Presidential Reference on 2G spectrum judgment.
Vahanvati told a five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia, Justice D K Jain, Justice J S Kehar, Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Ranjan Gogoi that various grounds had been made in support of the contention that the present reference is not maintainable and that it should not be answered.
On the argument that the Reference should be rejected because it does not spell out a doubt, Vahanvati said “this approach is wrong”. It is contrary to the plain reading of Article 143 (1) of the Constitution (Power of President to consult Supreme Court), he argued. The very fact that a question has been referred shows that there is a doubt on which opinion of the Supreme Court was sought and on which the apex court may render a report.
Therefore, merely because the Reference does not use the word ‘doubt’ in the recitals, it does not follow that in substance no doubt has arisen on which the opinion of the court is necessitated, the AG submitted.
The recitals in the Reference show that certain questions of law of far reaching national and international implications had arisen, Vahanvati said. These impact the investment through the FDI in the country not only in telecom, but in other sectors. These questions of law have far reaching consequences for the development of the country, the AG stated.
CJI Flays Media
In the morning, Chief Justice Kapadia said that the media reports on Thursday with regard to the court proceedings on the issue indicated as if the apex court had decided to reject the reference.
“The court has not yet made up its mind on answering the reference or returning it. We have an open mind. Merely because we are asking questions, one cannot jump to any conclusions,” Kapadia said.
“It is for this reason that the apex court wanted media guidelines,” he said.