Justice A. K. Ganguly, who was on the Supreme Court bench which cancelled 122 2G spectrum licences, says the effort in the landmark verdict was to try to “balance” the situation as best as the judiciary could because of its consequences.
Justice Ganguly, who retired last Thursday on the day 2G verdict was delivered, at the same time said he is not hurt at criticism that the judgement was a case of judicial overreach.
Stating that he was “aware of the consequences of the verdict” and was undeterred due to personalities involved in the case. Justice Ganguly said he, along with Justice G S Singhvi, “tried to do best to do justice to the issues raised” and “tried to balance the situation as best as could be”.
Justice Singhvi was the presiding judge.
“The 2G case has certain additional features in a way certain government policies were challenged. As a part of the bench dealing with the case I can tell you that the bench tried to do the best to do justice to the issues raised,” Justice Ganguly told PTI.
“The bench was never, as it is not expected to be, conscious of the persons involved in the case,” he said.
On deciding the issues raised for the cancellation of the 2G licences, Justice Ganguly said “the bench had to proceed on the basis of legal questions and principles and not on the basis of the personalities involved in it. At the same time the bench was aware of the consequences of the verdict.
Undeterred by the criticism of the verdict in different quarters including corporate world, he said “it is not uncommon in democracy” and it is for the people to decide whether the 2G verdict has enhanced the faith of citizens in the justice delivery system.
Asked about the criticism by former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who dubbed the verdict as “judicial overreach, Justice Ganguly said he did not feel hurt at all.
“I do not feel hurt as there is nothing personal. Nothing to feel hurt,” he said, adding that any judgement can be criticised as “the criticism of the judgement is within the fundamental right of people’s speech”.
“But the criticism must be bona fide and on valid grounds.
Therefore, the criticism of judgement is not uncommon in democracy,” Justice Ganguly said.
He refused to be drawn into discussion on the alleged role of Union Minister P Chidambaram and subsequent clean chit given by the Special CBI Court to him in the 2G scam, saying he would “not like to say anything".
Justice Ganguly said “Whenever cases involving constitutional issues or policies come before court, the court ensures that the decision it renders enhances people’s faith in justice delivery system and in this case also the bench has tried to do so.
“All judgements should enhance people’s faith in system and whether this judgement has done so is for the people to say,” he said while hoping that “justice will be done in the the special CBI court,” which is trying to do the trial in the best manner.
He refused to comment any further on the merits of 2G case, saying that there were reports that some people are contemplating to seek review of the February 2 verdict.