`Let down` by NDA govt, Gopal Subramaniam withdraws name for appointment as SC judge

Former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam has withdrawn his candidature for appointment as Supreme Court judge over lack of support from the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre, reports said on Wednesday.

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Last Updated: Jun 25, 2014, 16:23 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

New Delhi: Former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam has withdrawn his candidature for appointment as Supreme Court judge over lack of support from the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre, reports said on Wednesday.

In a letter written to the Chief Justice of India, Subramaniam was quoted as saying, "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 has put an end to the ongoing controversy over Subramaniam`s nomination by a Supreme Court collegium for the post of a judge in the apex court.

According to sources, 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 is understood to have 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 warrants of appointments in these cases are likely to be issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan shortly, the sources said.

The government is learnt to have 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.