A letter from the “desk officer” stating that no coercive action to be taken against the telecommunication companies (telcos) should be taken for not paying the dues enraged the Supreme Court. The top court has directed the government to produce the offer in front of it.
The Supreme Court has also summoned the Managing Directors (MDs) of the telecom companies over non-payment of their dues on the deadline set by the top court.
Justice Arun Mishra, Supreme Court demanded of the government as he said “Should we wind up the Supreme Court? A desk officer considers himself a judge and stays our order. Who is the desk officer? A desk officer says coercive action not to be taken until further orders. How can he stay our orders”.
Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India was representing the government.
Justice Mishra added, “Nonsense has been created. There is no law left in this country. It is better not to live in this country and rather leave the country. I am anguished. I feel I should not work in this court”.
The letter that the apex court was referring to was written last month and titled “No Coercive action to be taken against the TSPs (Telecommunication Service Providers) in relation to AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) dues”.
The letter said, “This is in relation to the judgment and order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in AGR matter dated 24.10.2019, whereby the Hon’ble Court had given the TSPs three months’ time to make payments and submit compliance.”
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“LFA (Licensing Finance Assessment) Wing has already informed the Access Service Licensees to make the payments to DoT (Department of Telecommunications) HQ [letter attached herewith].”
“You are directed not to take any coercive action against the Licensees in case they fail to comply with the Supreme Court order, until further orders.”
“A detailed status report of compliance, or otherwise may be sent to CGPS (Controller General of Communication Accounts) (TSP Wise) on 24.01.2020 by 5.00 PM.”
“This issue with the approval of Member (F).”
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The letter was signed by the Director of the Department of Telecom, Mandar Deshpande.
The judges said that this letter was nothing but a device to oblige the telecoms. The top court has directed the government that the officer should be produced in front of them and even questioned the actions, if any, were taken against him.
The judges said that a desk officer wrote a letter to the Attorney General and other authorities asking them to not pressurize the telecom on making the payments.
Justice Mishra said that his judicial conscience is shaken, he continued “Is there anything left in the judiciary? I am at a loss. I will not bother about myself. I will pass strictures. I am totally at a loss on how to work in this system and in this country”.
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The judges praised a concern about whether “money power” was involved in the action taken by the officer. The court said that the officer was liable for contempt of court and may be sentenced to jail.
While, many Indians respect the Judge HE Arun Mishra for his orders, as a citizen of this great country, India, we feel very disappointed too over the remarks by the “learned” Judge.. If some officer has said “no coercive” action to be taken UNTIL FURTHER ORDERS, pray, what is wrong with that? The telecos have approached SCI for review etc and the SCI has given a date. When the SCI to hear the issue, what way, it is wrong for the Dept Officer in advising so? Or should he have taken actions such that when SCI hear the matter , the Judge then gets a chance to say, why the officer didnt use his senses to know that the court is to hear the appellants prayers and so why cant he wait? Has Indian not been seeing judgments advising law enforcement authorities not to use “coercive” actions in investigations? Recall cases in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu during DeMo time? On one side court goes all out disarming investigative officers, and blaming them for no fault of theirs too, other side this sort of comments by courts CAN ONLY MAKE OFFICIALS TO STAY inactive. wont be surprised if some officer demands directions from SCI Judge to act claiming his fear of this sort of comments.
The learned courts NEED TO UNDEERSTAND THAT THE VERY PURPOSE OF INSTITUTIONS LIKE COURTS are for welfare of people of India, so, any and every comment the court makes need to keep this in view. Judges are mere human beings, employees delegated to perform certain actions exactly like any other employee working for India. If this is in their mind, then the judges will NOT resort to such very disappointing comments – mostly heard from pathetic and ideologically bound lawyers in general. Please, sir, do not destroy India. You too have great responsibility on your shoulders in building India, like any one else. You have been provided many facilities etc so you do not become a pawn to either emotions or some emotionally charged people. The world is going thru a crisis situation, thanks to many human created disruptions – be it from Trump-China policy or terrorism related and now, NCov too had hammered world economy into serious situations. We need to handle every issue, meaningfully, professionally such that minimum Indians are affected. So, before creating a hue and cry, would it not have been better for the court to ask Govt to come out with a plan of action as to how they can sort this out? Then Govt could sit with the appellants and come out with the time bound plan of actions so that minimum disruptions are there.
Remember please, in India, massive delays have been caused due to mamoth delays in courts affecting life of ordinary people. Ordinary people helplessly watch that people with power, money and influence can get their issues mentioned in courts while ordinary has to go on suffering. While a judge can declare peaceful protests are fundamental rights, has the court seen how fundamental rights of aged, disabled, people who need to be taken by ambulance etc are denied by court’s such ruling? why are those people not Indians with same fundamental rights to live? Time courts need to look into mirror since, as of now, NO ONE CAN MAKE COURTS SEE WHERE THEY SLIP, which too slowly working in destroying and indirectly destabilizing INDIA. a very disappointed INDIAN.