New Delhi: Chhattisgarh on Wednesday said in the Supreme Court that the government should continue to have the freedom to frame policies for the "alienation, transfer and allocation of natural resources".
"Any judicial interference with such policies should be limited to the instance... which essentially mandate that the policies should be fair and transparent and in public interest," the state government told the apex court constitution bench.
The bench comprising Chief Justice SH Kapadia, Justice DK Jain, Justice JS Khehar, Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Ranjan Gogoi was hearing a presidential reference whether auction was the only method of allocating natural resources as held by the court in its 2G verdict in February.
Chhattisgarh said in the SC that the government should continue to have the freedom to frame policies for the alienation, transfer and allocation of natural resources.
The scope for interference by courts in policy-making by the government, including methods of disposal of natural resources, was limited and had to be within the bonds expressly laid down by the apex court in several of its decisions, the Chhattisgarh government told the court.
"The government is acknowledged as the master of policy with the prerogative to change policy as time necessitates,' said senior counsel Ravindra Shrivastava, appearing for Chhattisgarh.
He said that in the mineral-rich Chhattisgarh the revenue demands must be balanced with the reality of extreme social and economic backwardness and the looming threat of environmental damage.
Shrivastava told the court that if private players were not given incentives to make investment in the backward regions then they would remain untouched by development.
The presidential Reference is rooted in 2G verdict wherein the court said if scarce natural resources like spectrum were to be alienated by the state, then the only legal method was a transparent public auction.
The apex court in 2G verdict, while holding that first come, first serve policy as flawed, cancelled 122 2G licences.