Seminar Magazine: The Supreme Court on 2G: signal and noise

February 7, 2013 | Jayna Kothari

Volume No. 642 of ‘Seminar’ published in February 2013, featured an article “The Supreme Court on 2G: signal and noise” written by CLPR’s Sudhir Krishnaswamy. The edition contained pieces relevant to the theme of democracy and constitutionalism in India.


The article seeks to show the manner in which the 2G cases of Centre for Public Interest Litigitation v. Union of India and In re Special Reference No 1 of 2012serve to highlight the change in the Supreme Court of India’s popular perception of being a corruption buster. The article thus, aims at bringing back the focus of the 2G debates to the facts, rather than the diluted and sensationalized outlook of the case, as made popular by the media.


The CPIL and other petitioners challenged the Department of Telecommunication‘s grant of licenses in 2007 and 2008. The core challenges made before the court are first, whether the grant of licenses were made in accordance with applicable law and policy; and second whether the existing policy of spectrum allocation is constitutionally valid? In the case of Centre for Public Interest Litigitation, the Supreme Court held that the license grants violated applicable law, and that the existing law was unconstitutional. The 2G Reference case on the other hand, overrules every argument made in the previous case – thus, the article seeks to highlight this contradictory outlook of the Supreme Court.

Jayna Kothari

Executive Director

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