Supreme Court responsible for economic slowdown, says Harish Salve

Harish Salve

Sep 17 : Senior advocate Harish Salve has blamed the Supreme Court for India for current economic slowdown, saying the decline began with the apex court judgment in the 2012 2G spectrum case, when it cancelled 122 spectrum licences issued to telecom operators, redrawing India’s telecom industry.

“… I squarely blame the Supreme Court,” he told fellow senior advocate Indira Jaising in an interview for her legal news website, The Leaflet.

“I can understand holding people responsible for the wrong distribution of licenses in 2G… Blanket cancellation of licences where foreigners are investing… See, when a foreigner invested it was your rule which said he must have an Indian partner. The foreigner did not know how the Indian partner got a licence,” he said.

“Foreigners invested billions of dollars, and with one stroke of the pen, the Supreme Court knocked all of them out. That’s when the decline of the economy began.”

In 2010, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) revealed that the 2G scam had caused a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer. The Supreme Court had then cancelled 122 licences in February 2012, rejecting the arguments presented by Salve, who appeared for 11 telecom companies in the case.

In December 2017, a CBI trial court acquitted former Union ministers and key accused A. Raja and Kanimozhi, along with 15 others and said that the scam was “conjectured” by some people who created a “scam by artfully arranging a few selected facts and exaggerating things beyond recognition to astronomical levels”.

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