SC judgement no indictment of govt: Sibal
New Delhi: Dismissing the view that the Supreme Court`s judgement cancelling 122 2G licences was an indictment, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal today said the government will move forward in the issue after regulator TRAI make its recommendations.
"There is no indictment of the Prime Minister or the then Finance Minister (P Chidambaram) in the Supreme Court`s judgement. If there is any indictment it is the 2003 policy (first-come, first-serve) of the NDA government and we only followed it," he told a press conference shortly after the Supreme Court judgement on the issue.
The government will abide by the judgement that spectrum should be auctioned which, he said, the ministry has done by delinking spectrum from the licence in 2011 after he took over.
He said the UPA only followed the policy of the NDA government of FCFS, which has been declared discriminatory by the apex court. The BJP, therefore, must apologise to the nation from the nation for causing huge loss to the government.
Asked about the implications of the judgement on the companies like Telenor of Norway and Sistema of Russion who have pumped huge money to roll out services, the minister said any aggrieved corporate can approach the court for relief.
The confusion has been removed and clarity has been brought in the sector and this help in getting investments in the important sector. While blaming the NDA for the 2003 policy which the UPA implemented, he sought to shift blame on irregularities in the manner in which it was implemented on the then telecom minister A Raja.
"The Supreme Court has clearly said that the then minister (Raja) did not heed to the good advice of both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Finance Ministry," Sibal said.
Sibal said that there was problem in implementation of the policy and "that is why Raja is where he is". At the same time in reply to questions he denied he was blaming Raja or UPA ally DMK. "DMK is our valued ally and they will continue to be our valued ally," he said.
Asked whether Chidambaram was guilty of omission by not preventing the scam, he said how he can be blamed if there was no time for him to know that some wrong was being committed.
Asked whether the FCFS policy, which is also applicable in other sector like mining, could be impacted by the judgement, the minister said "it could be." He, however, said that the government will not pre-empt a revision of the policy in other sectors. "Why should we pre-empt, there are statutes in other sector, let the Supreme Court strike it down," he said.
From now it is a new beginning and the nation will attract more investments in a sector which is crying for the investments since last more than a year ever since the uncertainties engulfed this sector.
About losses to the government, he said "there is no question of loss if the policy (FCFS) is right and if the policy is faulty then you will have to calculate losses from October 2003 onward when the policy was implemented." Asked what lesson the government has learnt from today`s judgement, Sibal said "which ever the minister is functioning must consult everybody… and not commit any irregularity."