The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sorabjee for review, not appeal

New Delhi, Sept. 17 (PTI): Ruling out an appeal against the Supreme Court’s judgment halting privatisation of oil majors Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum, attorney-general Soli Sorabjee today said the government could seek a “review”.

“Appeal is out of question. At the best, government can go in for a review,” Sorabjee said when asked whether the government could appeal against the verdict.

If the government does ask for a review, the request will come up before the same bench that delivered the verdict and chances of a different judgment, therefore, are remote.

Sorabjee said contrasting views were possible in interpretation of statutes. “No human being can claim infallibility, neither a lawyer nor a judge, when it comes to interpretation of statutes. Different benches of the Supreme Court have given different views on similar issues.”

Sorabjee had given the opinion that no prior approval from Parliament was required for privatisation of the two oil majors.

The court yesterday restrained the Centre from going ahead with the privatisation process, saying the process cannot go ahead without prior approval from Parliament because it was through an act of the legislature that the two companies were created.

“Before giving the opinion, I had examined the provision of the act on acquiring the foreign oil companies, had gone through other acts and concluded that there was no need for prior approval for an in-principle disinvestment in the two government oil companies,” Sorabjee said, adding the Supreme Court took the view focusing on the preamble of the act.

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