The government’s petition seeking a review of the Supreme Court verdict assailing the first come first served policy in the 2G case as flawed and instead favouring auction of the national resources to maximize the state’s revenues will be heard by a new bench.
The new bench will have Justice GS Singhvi along with another judge. He, along with Justice (retired) Asok Kumar Ganguly, had pronounced the 2G verdict Feb 2.
Normally a review petition is heard by the same bench that pronounces the verdict, which is sought to be reviewed. However, since Justice Ganguly retired just a day after the 2G verdict, the review plea by the government will be heard by a new bench.
The situation is similar to the one when the government moved an application seeking the modification of an apex court verdict appointing a special investigation team (SIT) headed by its former judge BP Jeevan Reddy to probe and initiate proceedings against people who had allegedly stashed away ill-gotten money to tax havens abroad.
The verdict on black money was pronounced by the apex court bench of Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice S.S. Nijjar July 4, 2011. Justice Reddy retired two days later July 7, 2011.
The centre’s application seeking the recall of the order setting up the SIT was heard by the bench of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice Nijjar.
Justice Kabir, while rejecting the objections on the maintainability of the government’s application, held that “even if the present application was to be dismissed as being not maintainable under Article 142 of the constitution…it would not preclude the applicants (government and its instrumentalities) from filing an application for review under Article 137 of the constitution”.
As Justice Kabir and Justice Nijjar differed on the maintainability of the government’s application seeking the modification of the order on setting up the SIT, the two judges decided that the matter be placed before the chief justice of India, for reference to a third judge.
The order to refer the entire issue to third judge was passed Sep 23, 2011. The next development in the case is still awaited.