Lawyer Uday Lalit who represented Amit Shah to be elevated as SC judge

Days after former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam withdrew his candidature for appointment as Supreme Court judge over lack of support from the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, it has emerged that another senior lawyer Uday Lalit will now be appointed as the apex court judge.

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Last Updated: Jul 11, 2014, 08:57 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

New Delhi: Days after former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam withdrew his candidature for appointment as Supreme Court judge over lack of support from the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, it has emerged that another senior lawyer Uday Lalit will now be appointed as the apex court judge.

Reports said on Friday that the Narendra Modi government has now decided to elevate Uday Lalit, who was the special prosecutor in the 2G spectrum allocation case, to the post of Supreme Court judge.

Lalit had also represented Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s close aide Amit Shah, who was on Thursday appointed as the new BJP chief, in two high profile criminal cases.

The Supreme Court collegium led by the Chief Justice of India has recommended Lalit`s name, along with three other high court chief justices for the top court.

Lalit represented Amit Shah in the cases involving the fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati. Shah faces charges of murder and conspiracy in both cases.

The development comes days after a controversy erupted after the former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam withdraw his candidature for appointment as Supreme Court due to lack of support from the BJP government.

In a letter written to the Chief Justice of India, Subramaniam had 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."

The former Solicitor General further alleged that there was a malicious campaign out to defame him and that all charges against him are untrue.

The development also put an end to a controversy over Subramaniam`s nomination by a Supreme Court collegium for the post of a judge in the apex court.

The senior lawyer withdrew his candidature in view of media reports which said the BJP-led NDA government is opposed to his appointment as a Supreme Court judge because of his `links` with corporate lobbyist Nira Radia and a `negative` CBI report.

The government had reportedly returned the recommendation for his appointment to the apex court to its collegium with a request to reconsider the decision.

Government sources said while returning the recommendation relating to the former Solicitor General to the collegium headed by Chief Justice of India RM Lodha, the government cleared the other names for appointment.

Those cleared were Calcutta High Court Chief Justice Arun Mishra, Orissa High Court Chief Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and senior advocate Rohinton Nariman.

The government also reportedly sent a note to the collegium giving out reasons for its reservations over appointing Subramanium to the apex court.

As amicus curiae in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, Subramanium was critical of the Gujarat government headed by Narendra Modi and brought out new facts on the basis of which the Supreme Court had ordered a CBI probe into the case.

Justice N Santosh Hegde was the last lawyer to have been elevated directly to the SC. Hegde was appointed as a judge of the apex court in 1999.