Modi govt worried I won't toe their line: Gopal Subramaniam
The controversy surrounding the appointment of Gopal Subramaniam as a Supreme Court judge has refused to die down with the Intelligence Bureau now red-flagging his appointment citing 'personality oddities'.
Former Solicitor General in the UPA government Gopal Subramaniam has withdrawn his candidature over what he feels is continued character assassination and a malicious attempt to discredit him.
In a letter to the Chief Justice of India, which CNN-IBN has access to, Subramaniam has said: "I'm fully conscious that my independence as a lawyer is causing apprehensions that I will not toe the government line. This factor has been decisive in refusing to appoint me."
He also said that there was a malicious campaign out to discredit him and that all charges against him are false. "It's a sad day for judiciary that the judiciary has been compromised."
The controversy surrounding his appointment as a Supreme Court judge refused to die down with the Intelligence Bureau on Tuesday red-flagging his appointment citing 'personality oddities'.
While the IB had earlier found no case against Subramaniam, this 'new' report comes as a shot in the arm for the BJP government that appears to be seriously opposed to Subramaniam's appointment.
According to The Economic Times, the Intelligence Bureau report to the Law Ministry raises questions about Subramaniam's 'odd behaviour' giving instances where it says Subramaniam relied on his spiritual instincts rather than rational logic.
The report, according to the business daily, specifically mentioned the Parliament attack case of 2001 in which Subramaniam was the Special Public Prosecutor and more recently the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple case where he was an amicus curiae (friend of the court).
Subramanium, who spent 35 days in Trivandrum and in the temple complex and exposed large-scale pilferage of gold from the temple vaults, submitted a 575-page report that he could not take the credit for discovering any of the misdeeds and that it was divinely ordained. "It was his morning ritual of (shutting) his mind and seeking guidance, which resulted in discoveries in this direction," the report said.
Earlier, the CBI had raised an objection to Subramaniam stating that he had met with the lawyer of former telecom minister and accused in the 2G case A Raja, inside his chambers along with CBI officials. Subramaniam, however, in a letter to then telecom minister Kapil Sibal, has denied having met the lawyer.
The CBI also sought to link Subramaniam to corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, saying he had recieved certain favours from corporates, also something he has denied.
Such IB reports, however, are not new. Earlier this month, another IB report alleged 'misconduct' on the part of Natgrid CEO Raghu Raman, which played an important role in the NDA government deciding not to grant him an extension beyond the end of his tenure. Here too, the IB report, according to The Indian Express, alleged 'personal and professional misconduct' by Raman involving foreign nationals.
The President has meanwhile approved the other three names put forward by the SC collegium, including former solicitor general Rohinton F Nariman and chief justices of Orissa and Calcutta High Courts, Adarsh Kumar Goel and Arun Misra.
Meanwhile, it appears that the NDA government is taking Intelligence Bureau clearances very importantly even in the case of appointments of OSDs to ministers.
In a directive earlier this month, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has asked ministries to send a proposal including approval from the concerned minister, willingness of the person to be appointed as OSD and educational qualification certificates (attested by an officer not below the level of Under Secretary) to it.
Besides, it has been made mandatory to send to the DoPT the bio-data or earlier service details of the candidate duly attested by the minister concerned, post creation details with the approval of DoPT and the Ministry of Finance, IB report and police report on verification of character and antecedents for processing requests for appointment of private person as OSD, it said.
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