New Delhi: As part of the government’s strategy to sort out the 2G spectrum tangle, the cabinet Tuesday approved a proposal to issue a presidential reference seeking more clarity on the Supreme Court’s order revoking 122 licences.
The presidential reference note includes key questions such as what was to be done to the licences that have been granted using the first come, first served basis.
It also asks what would happen to companies like Norway’s Telenor, which did not participat in the bidding but had invested in a joint venture to launch 2G services.
Through Article 143 of the Indian constitution, the president can refer matters of public interest to the Supreme Court.
Sources said the presidential reference had been drafted taking inputs from various ministries and the attorney general.
In this particular case, President Pratibha Patil would ask the Supreme Court if its February order directing the government to auction spectrum, which is one of the natural resources, will be binding on other natural resources as well.
Tuesday’s decision comes just three days ahead of the apex court hearing April 13 the government’s petition to review its judgement.
The government has also sought a breather from the Supreme Court on the four-month deadline for a re-auction and said that it would take at least 400 days to complete this.
The Supreme Court has already rejected review petitions filed by the affected companies.
The last time a presidential referral was sought by the government was in 2004 over the water-sharing dispute between Punjab and Haryana.