The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard a plea questioning the disinvestment of the Government's shares in Hindustan Zinc Limited in 2002. The hearing once again highlighted the growing trend and motivations of lobby members to cast aspersions on the Indian legal system.
Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Prashant Bhushan questioned as to why the matter had not been made into a regular case, saying, "No reason has been given as to why the case was not made a regular case despite recommendations from all Officials. The then AG had said it was not required, and it was found that he was the Counsel for Vedanta."
Taking him on, Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta pointed out the motivated attempts to disrepute the legal system calling out the unsubstantiated comments saying, "Mr. Bhushan cannot go on abusing people who are not there in this court. Your majesty is being taken for granted. This man needs to be stopped. The Court's magnanimity is perceived by him as Court's weakness."
Meanwhile, Senior Advocate & Queen's Counsel Harish Salve also remarked on how there is no competent petition before the Supreme Court. He also called out Prashant Bhushan's attempt to further argue on the matter saying, "Your running commentary needs to be stopped."
Meanwhile, Chief Justice of India (CJI) S.A Bobde announced that the Court will read the status report before making up its mind. The hearing has been scheduled for next week.
Earlier last month, SG Tushar Mehta had approached the CJI-led bench seeking an urgent listing of the matter, placing that the economy needed infusion of money. The plea had been filed by Prashant Bhusan who had accused the NDA regime of indulging in 'corrupt practices' in the disinvestment of government shares in Hindustan Zinc Ltd.Bhushan has also resisted further disinvestment of the PSU claiming that the Union Law Ministry had a report opposing the decision.
The case was first filed as a PIL in 2014 by officers related to the PSU firm who had alleged illegalities in the disinvestment by undervaluing the shares. It had sought a CBI inquiry into the matter and had asked the court to prevent the government from further divesting its share. A preliminary inquiry had already been conducted by the CBI in November 2013 to look into alleged malpractices.