Pranab backs Modi, convinced with govt's stand against Subramanium

In a major boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee has reportedly backed the BJP government over its decision to reject former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium's appointment as a Supreme Court judge.

FP Staff June 27, 2014 08:38:43 IST
Pranab backs Modi, convinced with govt's stand against Subramanium

In a major boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee has reportedly backed the BJP government over its decision to reject former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium's candidature for appointment as a Supreme Court judge.

Pranab backs Modi convinced with govts stand against Subramanium

President Pranab Mukherjee has backed the Modi government's stand on former SG Gopal Subramanium.

According to a report in The Economic Times, the President was was convinced with the dossier submitted by the Modi government that argued against Subramanium's appointment as a judge in the apex court.

"The President was convinced by the evidence submitted by the government against Subramanium and agreed that he was not fit to be appointed as a judge of the SC," an official, on the condition of anonymity, told the business daily, adding that the President could have returned the government's dossier to the law ministry asking it to reconsider, had he not been convinced, something he has done in the past with the UPA government.

According to the ET source, the government did not red-flag Subramanium's ability and competence, but had serious reservations about him with regards to his supposed involvement in the 2G case and his proximity to corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, both of which Subramanium has denied.

On Thursday, the President approved the appointment of Chief Justices of Calcutta Arun Mishra, Orissa High Court Adarsh Goel and eminent lawyer Rohinton Nariman, who were in the panel recommended by the Supreme Court collegium.

Subramanium on Wednesday withdrew his candidature after alleging that the government had ordered the CBI to "scrounge" for "dirt" against him to scuttle his elevation.

The warrant of appointment has been issued and the three judges will take oath after 30 June when the Supreme Court reopens after its summer vacation.

The Intelligence Bureau and the CBI had, earlier this week, questioned the credibility of Subramanium, with the CBI in its report to the Law Ministry questioning Subramanium's alleged links with corporates, while the IB chose to red-flag Subramanium's personality saying he had 'personality oddities'. Interestingly, the IB observation came in a second report to the government. Its first reportedly gave Subramanium a clean-chit.

However, there appeared to be much more behind the government's motivation. Much of it has to do with his role as amicus curie in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter where with his assistance, the Supreme Court found fault in the manner in which the Gujarat government, then under the chief ministership of Modi,  handled the case. Further, Modi's close aide Amit Shah, who is likely to be the next president of the BJP, is an accused in the case.

In an earlier article on Firstpost, columnist MK Venu wrote that this move by the BJP government was a clear indication of how the government would not hesitate to use its brute power in the future.

"The manner in which the BJP government blocked Subramanium's nomination to the Supreme Court is a harbinger of how it will possibly use its brute power in the near future. Clearly, the issue goes beyond an individual judge now and the whole episode could even be an early sign of what might be described as the "Gujaratisation" of the highest judiciary. It is plain to the naked eye that sheer use of political power by the Gujarat executive in the past ten years had resulted in a certain loss of public confidence in the entire investigation and judicial system in that state."

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