New Delhi: In a nine-page letter to Chief Justice of India R M Lodha, former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium today withdrew his consent for appointment as a Supreme Court judge protesting against "a very carefully orchestrated drama" to scuttle his elevation.
Following are excerpts from the letter: "I have felt deeply honoured and moved by your request and persuasion to be a Judge of the Supreme Court. I have felt very proud that the members of the Collegium have participated in this powerful invitation.
"I must add that to invite a leading member of the Bar, and his appointment to the Court, must engender expectations of positive conduct and contribution. I have always believed that the Executive Government would so perceive and understand. Clearly, this is not the case. The recent weeks have witnessed some serious constitutional aberrations.
"Over the past two weeks quite a few media reports have voiced the Union Government`s reservations about my appointment. These reports speak of alleged adverse reports against me by the Intelligence Bureau and the CBI. I must say that these media reports are malicious insinuations based on half-truths, and appear to be a result of carefully planted leaks aimed at generating doubts in the minds of the Collegium and of the public as to the suitability and propriety of appointing me as a judge of the Supreme Court.
"I am fully conscious that my independence as a lawyer is causing apprehensions that I will not toe the line of the Government. This factor has been decisive in refusing to appoint me. I have no illusions that this is so.
Giving reasons for his opting out of consideration for elevation, Subramanium said "a judge requires public confidence. He can`t begin his career with trust deficit."
"I have consciously opted out of being a judge and possibly the chief justice," he said claiming he was a victim.
Rejecting the reported claim in an IB report that he was given to spirituality and not bound by judicial reasoning, Subramanium said as an amicus curiae in the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple case he did observe certain religious traditions as was required while entering the temple and doing the probe into missing treasure.
And he did pray to God to give him guidance but that does not make him devoid of jurisprudence.
"When I do my duty as a lawyer I am completely secular and logical and stick to the brief," he said.
Citing yet another charge that he had "behaved funnily" by visiting Parliament House complex being the government`s lawyer in the 2001 terror attack case, he said he went there on a morning to pay homage to the martyrs who died facing the terrorist bullets and went back to do his duty as a lawyer.
"It is hitting below the belt," he regretted.
Expressing surprise and feeling "flattered" that IB kept a tab on his spirituality, Subramanium said, "I don`t want IB to be the judge of a lawyer whether he is rational or spiritual."
Maintaining that he had no evidence whether Modi had any hostility or animus against him, the senior lawyer said he would like the government to reconsider the idea that a judge should be pliable and that he should not ask questions of the government.