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Narendra Modi government gets defensive over Gopal Subramanium fiasco; says government can't be blamed

Wednesday, 2 July 2014 - 10:15am IST | Agency: dna webdesk

The Narendra Modi government has offered clarification over their decision to return Gopal Subramanium recommendation as Supreme Court judge, following sharp criticism from the Chief Justice of India RM Lodha.

"The Centre can't be blamed for Gopal Subramanium row," said government sources stated, according to CNN-IBN report. "In 2009 too, the then law minister Veerappa Moily, on the basis of an anonymous letter, had not considered CK Prasad's name for the Supreme Court judge," the report said.

It further quoted the source, saying, "Gopal himself resigned, so the government couldn't do anything. If the Supreme Court wanted, it could have sent Gopal's name again and the government would have abided by it. It didn't and so the government cannot be held responsible. The government fully respects the judiciary."

The Chief Justice commented over the manner in which the Modi government targeted former Solicitor General saying it was not proper for the executive to unilaterally segregate his name from three others who were appointed to the top court. "Gopal Subramanium's segregation was done unilaterally," claimed Lodha. "It was done by the Executive without my knowledge and consent," he added.

The Former Solicitor General had withdrawn his candidature for the post of a Supreme Court judge and sought for judicial institutions to be kept insulated from scandalisation. The government had rejected his name and returned the file over his name while accepting the recommendation related to others including another lawyer Rohinton Nariman.

Sources close to him said that he felt let down by the government and the Supreme Court which he thought did not stand upto defend him. He is also said to be of the view that the candidature of a judge of the Supreme Court should be decided in some kind of sacredness and should not be bashed about. The name of 56-year-old Subramanium, who served as the Solicitor General during the previous UPA regime, was recommended by the collegium for elevation to the apex court bench along with some other names. Read more 

Who is Gopal Subramanium and why does he feel “let down” by the Narendra Modi government
It isn't very often that a sitting government takes the liberty to call the Supreme Court's collegium over its decision making, and had the chief justice chosen to reiterate its nomination of Subramanium, constitutionally, the government would have to comply. But that isn't what happened, and in response, Subramanium withdrew his candidature. So what went wrong? Read more

In his own words, he narrated, "The first time that I had any idea that the Government was opposed to me was when I read an article which was published on June 11. On June 12 I rang up Chief justice, I asked if articles are coming in newspapers , I asked if anyone was feeling embarassed because of me. I told that I was ready to withdraw if anyone had any issues. I began to realise then that the government was not in a position to accept my name. But since I was told to hold to the name, I said alright, but little did I realise that there will be continuous planting of stories on sustained basis baselessly. I then thought that even if I were to become a judge incase the collegium reiterated my recommendation, such a degree of damage in the public mind has already been caused by so many reports.I only wished the government was straightforward. It is the judiciary which determines the suitaibility of the candidate." 

"I was somewhat alarmed when I saw that it is the government of the day which is now going to determine the suitability of the candidate. They may have reservations about a candidate and can write back to the chief justice and it can bring material to his attention and it can be done in a manner with known methodology and this was not done till date," he added. Read more

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