SC dismisses PIL that alleged corruption in grant of 4G licenses [Read Judgment]
The Supreme Court today dismissed a PIL filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation alleging irregularities in grant of 4G licenses to Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL)
Prashant Bhushan, who represented the CPIL in the apex court had alleged that there was large scale corruption in the grant of the license.
But upholding Centre’s argument that there no wrongdoing involved, the supreme court said government was empowered to decide on spectrum usage charges.
“Spectrum usage charges are to be left open for consideration by government”, the court said.
Bhushan, appearing for CPIL had submitted that the PIL was based on the draft of the Comptroller and Auditor General's report which had established that the spectrum for broadband wireless system was only for data and not for voice mail.
Further, he had alleged that spectrum bid was a 'benami' bid submitted by company named Infotel, which was acquired by Reliance group hours after it had won the 20 MHZ spectrum.
Infotel had submitted a bid of Rs 12,000 crore and the company was transferred to Reliance on the day of the bidding, he claimed.
However, senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Reliance, had submitted that the draft CAG report was not correct as somebody had planted information to the CAG.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar who appeared for the Centre said there was a policy for migration which was permissible and independent of spectrum, adding that licence was separate from spectrum.
It is to be noted that when the bench told the Solicitor General that the NGO has challenged the March 2012 decision of the Centre allowing the migration, he said it was according to the policy decision.
Salve had also said the policy was not under challenge and it was only the decision to allow Reliance to migrate that was.
When the bench wanted to know where was the decision to migrate, it was told that such a decision was in the official file.
Bhushan had claimed that while Reliance was paying a spectrum usage charge of one per cent, the other companies were charged higher upto five per cent. But the supreme court ultimately said that 'no wrong doing on the part of the Centre'.
Read the Judgment here.