Attorney General G E Vahanvati on Wednesday, in his submissions on Presidential Reference on 2G verdict in the Supreme Court, cited a number of judgments by the apex court delivered in the past and said that it is not possible to simply assert that these principles are no longer relevant in view of the changed circumstances.
The basic underlying of the Presidential Reference is to reconcile the said judgments with the recent statement of the law (2G verdict), he said.
Appearing before a five-judge Constitution Bench, the AG said, this was where the doubts arise. If the recent restatement of law was not in conformity with the earlier judgments, then the government was placed in a predicament as stated in the Presidential Reference.
The government chose not to ignore the recent statement of the law on the basis of well settled principles of law relating to precedents, he emphasised.
The government preferred to have an authoritative opinion on the law. Such an authoritative statement would remove the uncertainty around the law, which was precisely what the Presidential Reference seeks to achieve, he said concluding his submissions on the Presidential Reference.
One of the cases cited by Vahanvati was of Netai Bag Vs State of WB (2000) where the apex court had held that non-floating of tenders or not holding of public auction would not in all cases be deemed to be the result of the exercise of the executive power in an arbitrary manner.
Citing the case of R K Garg Vs Union of India (1981), he said that in this case the apex court had held that policy matters deal with complex problems which do not admit of solution through any doctrinaire or straitjacket formula.
Judicial deference requires granting play in the joints in this behalf smoothly.
Vahanvati also cited the case of Premium Granites Vs State of TN (1994) wherein the apex court had held that it was not the domain of the court to embark upon unchartered waters of public policy in an exercise to consider as to whether a particular public policy was wise or a better public policy could be evolved. Such exercise must be left to the discretion of the executive and legislative authorities as the case may be.
The court is called upon to consider the validity of a public policy only when a challenge is made, such policy decision infringes fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India or any other statutory right.