The government on Monday told the Supreme Court that “auction cannot be the only permissible method for disposal of natural resources” and a uniform policy on their distribution is “neither practical nor can it subserve the common good”.

The Centre also asserted that the allocation of natural resources is a policy matter and beyond the purview of judicial review.

The submissions of the government came in response to the questions framed by the apex court on Presidential Reference moved by it (government) for its opinion on issues arising out of its 2G spectrum allocation judgement including whether auctioning of natural resources across all sectors is mandatory.

Supporting the policy of first-come-first-served, the government said, “Ultimately the method of allocation of natural resources, apart from being governed by the principles of fairness and transparency, should also take into account the dynamic concept of public interest which also includes within its ambit the larger economic perspective and not merely financial gain.”

Further, it said the desirability to have fairness and transparency in state auction does not lead to the conclusion that “auction is the only way” in which one can proceed further.

“The disposal and distribution of natural resources has to be made in accordance with the sector specific requirement of each natural resource. The method of distribution of natural resource has to take into account the nature of natural resource and economic policy underlying the effective utilisation of such resource,” the Centre said.

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