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SC rejects petition to stall N-deal
August 03, 2007 18:03 IST
Last Updated: August 03, 2007 18:05 IST
The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain a public interest litigation seeking directions to the government to place all the details of the civil nuclear deal with the United States before Parliament for approval.
The petition had also asked that the joint Indo-US statement on nuclear deal be declared null and void if not approved by Parliament.
A bench, comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Tarun Chatterjee and R V Raveendran, however noted, "We do not say that these are minor matters. It is a serious matter and the government will take care of all the national interests."
The apex court also observed, "Courts cannot direct Parliament either to discuss a treaty or have it placed before Parliament. It is for the constitutional authorities like the prime minister and the Lok Sabha speaker to decide. The government has been ably advised by senior scientists and government functionaries. We are in a democracy and in democracy, executive is answerable to Parliament."
Earlier, senior counsel P S Mishra, appearing for the petitioner Anil Chawla, had contended that the nuclear deal would compromise the security of the country. It amounts to the complete surrender of decision-making power to the US and hence the details of the deal must be placed before Parliament for ratification.
The petitioner, however, withdrew the petition sensing the mood of the court which was not inclined to entertain the PIL.
The court permitted the petitioner to withdraw his petition and dismissed the same as withdrawn.
During the hearing of the petition, the court told the petitioner to at least wait till the nuclear treaty is placed before Parliament for its approval.