Cabinet meet on Presidential ref on 2G uncertain

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Saturday discussed a proposal for making a Presidential Reference on the Indian Supreme Court order cancelling 122 2G licences and decided to call the Solicitor General for consultations.

The Cabinet will meet again early next week when the Solicitor General will be called to present legalities involved in seeking such a reference, sources privy to the deliberations said.

The government has already filed a review petition seeking clarifications on certain aspects of the February 2 judgement of the apex court.

On February 2, the Supreme Court had cancelled the 122 2G spectrum licences granted by former telecom minister A Raja on the ground that they were issued in a "totally arbitrary and unconstitutional" manner.

"We have not challenged the cancellation of 122 licences. Under the law, you cannot seek a reference and through that process challenge the judgement," a source said.

"A reference is not meant to overturn a judgement of the court because a reference court is not a court of appeal. The Supreme Court is final court. So, reference court is not a court of appeal but if some issues arise out of a judgement which are in the nature of public issues, we can seek a reference," the source said.

The Department of Telecom feels the judgement has ramifications on several other sectors which also use the Supreme Court condemned first-come-first-serve policy for allocation of natural resources.

"We are not challenging the judgement but we are seeking reference on those issues," the source said, adding that Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal explained applications of the judgement to the Cabinet.

The Cabinet, however, deferred a decision on the Presidential reference and would take a final call only after hearing views of the Solicitor General, sources added.

As per law, the Supreme Court is not bound to answer all Presidential references.