Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Speaking on the Gopal Subramanium controversy, Chief Justice of India Justice RM Lodha said on Tuesday that former Solicitor General`s segregation was unilaterally done by
government without his knowledge and consent.
"The first thing I had taken objection to was the segregation of Gopal Subramanium`s file unilaterally by the executive. It is not proper," he said at a function here breaking his silence on
the controversy that struck the new government within a month of its coming to power.
In a statement which could be construed as expressing disappointment with the way things were handled by the BJP-led NDA government, the CJI maintained that the independence of judiciary would never be compromised, PTI reported.
"I promise 1.2 billion people of India that independence of judiciary will not be compromised," he said adding "I will be the first person to leave this chair if judiciary`s independence is compromised".
He was speaking at a function to bid farewell to Justice BS Chauhan who demitted office today on attaining the age of superannuation.
The CJI was also not happy about the fact that Subramanium had gone “public with his grievances when he was abroad.”
"I came back on June 28 and had a meeting with Subramanium asking him to reconsider (his decision to withdraw consent for being appointed as judge).
He replied the next day with a six-line letter expressing his decision (withdrawal of his consent) that he cannot go back on it.
Again after a few days when the Chief Justice talked to him once more, Subramanium reiterated his decision, Justice Lodha said.
"On June 29 when he wrote a letter reiterating his position, I was left with no choice but to recall the proposal (recommending Subramanium`s name for appointment as judge)," the Chief Justice said.
Eminent lawyer Subramanium had opted out of being considered for appointment as SC judge after lashing out at the Modi government accusing it of ordering CBI to "scrounge" for "dirt" against him to scuttle his elevation.
Subramanium, who had assisted the Supreme Court in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in which Amit Shah, a close aide of Prime Minister Narender Modi is now an accused, said that he was being "targeted" because of his independence and integrity.
He suggested that his role as amicus curiae, a friend of the court, in the Sohrabuddin case, could have been the reason for government opposing his elevation, although he had no direct evidence.
Subramanium, a former SG, sent a 9-page letter to the Chief Justice of India RM Lodha withdrawing his consent to be appointed as a judge saying that he did not want his elevation to be "the subject matter of any politicisation".
His name had been recommended for appointment to the Supreme Court bench by its collegium along with three others, Chief Justices of Calcutta and Odisha High Courts Arun Mishra and Adarsh Kumar Goyal respectively and senior advocate Rohinton Nariman.
With PTI inputs