New Delhi: The decision to drop former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium as CBI counsel from a corruption case against an Indian Revenue Service officer was taken by the Law Ministry before Thursday`s hearing in the Supreme Court despite the agency insisting that he should be retained.
CBI sources said they had wanted to retain Subramanium as he had been appearing in the corruption case against former Enforcement Directorate official Ashok Kumar Aggarwal for nearly a decade.
They said their requests were not accepted by the Ministry which asked the agency through DoPT to replace him with Attorney General G E Vahanvati.
Meanwhile, the matter was today adjourned in the Supreme Court to August one. Subramanium was not available for comments. He was appointed Solicitor General on June 15, 2009 for a three-year term but resigned in July, 2011 unhappy over a private advocate being engaged by the then Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal to argue his case in a PIL filed against him, alleging that the minister had favoured Reliance Telecom.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then Law Minister Veerappa Moily had talked to Subramanium to persuade him not to quit but he insisted on doing so.
CBI has booked Aggarwal in two cases in 2002 after sanction from the Finance Ministry which related to alleged criminal conspiracy to extort money from a trader Subhash Barjatya by threatening to book him in a false case of violation of foreign exchange regulations.
In the second case, the allegation was that the officer had amassed assets of over Rs 12 crore which were hugely disproportionate to his known sources of income. Ram Jethmalani appeared for Aggarwal.