SC had earlier made it clear that no court should entertain any such petition

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed all further proceedings on the 20 petitions filed by the accused (Ms. Kanimozhi and others) in the 2G case in the Delhi High Court seeking a direction to quash the charge sheet against them.

A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and K.S. Radhakrishnan stayed the proceedings and issued notice to the respondents on applications from the CBI seeking the stay.

Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate, submitted that the Supreme Court, in April last, made it clear that no court in the country should entertain any petition seeking stay on the 2G trial. Despite this order, the High Court had issued notice to the CBI on petitions filed by the accused for quashing the charge sheet. He said the April 2011 order of the Supreme Court had been wrongly construed to apply for stay and not petitions for quashing. He prayed for stay on all further proceedings pending before the High Court. The Bench, while granting the stay, issued notice returnable in six weeks.

“Comply with order”

In a related 2G issue, the same Bench pulled up the Centre for not auctioning on November 12 the entire 2G band spectrum available after the quashing of 122 licences in February this year.

Justice Singhvi told Additional Solicitor-General A.S. Chandihok that the order must be complied with in letter and spirit and the entire spectrum available in 2G band in the 22 circles auctioned.

The ASG told the Bench that the government proposed to auction only the 1800 mhz frequency. There were no takers for the 800 mhz frequency, while there were five bidders for 1800 mhz. He said 900 mhz frequency was not being auctioned now. Explaining the reasons, the ASG said the spectrum auction was being done as per the recommendations of TRAI.

At this juncture Justice Singhvi told the ASG: “When you [Centre] sought extension of time for auction, you never brought to our notice the TRAI recommendations. If you had done that, we would have examined the implications. There is now low bidding for 1800 mhz, no bidders for 800 mhz. It seems the government is showing us a fait accompli.”

Justice Singhvi reminded the ASG that the February 2 order did not refer to any frequency. The order only directed that the entire 2G spectrum available be put up for auction. Prima facie, it seems the government is not carrying out the court orders. It is playing with the court’s orders. We are giving you time to ponder. This could mean a revival of 2G proceedings.” While asking the government to file an affidavit why it did not comply with the orders in full, the Bench said it would examine this aspect on November 19.

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