New Delhi: Former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan on Thursday said it was quite clear that CBI and IB were induced to do a "hatchet job" to scuttle the elevation of eminent lawyer Gopal Subramanium to the Supreme Court bench.
In a statement accusing BJP of attempting to "compromise" the independence of the judiciary, he said the letter of Subramanium to the Chief Justice of India withdrawing his consent for appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court has created quite a furore in the country.
"People are getting reminded of 1973 when Indira Gandhi had directed Mohan Kumaramangalam to take steps to have a committed judiciary.
"It is quite clear that the CBI and the IB have been induced to do a hatchet job for the BJP which was angry with Gopal Subramanium as an Amicus appointed by the Supreme Court for taking a tough stand in the Sohrabuddin, Kauser Bi and Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter cases, in which Amit Shah, the blue-eyed boy of Narendra Modi, has been chargesheeted," he said.
Bhushan, a noted jurist, said CBI and IB have raised two questions about the suitability of Subramanium.
He said the first reason given by the government for opposing Subramanium`s appointment "is ridiculous".
"The government says that a conversation between Radia and some third person shows Subramanium in a poor light.
On the contrary, he said, a purported conversation between Radia and an industrialist where his (Subramanium) name is mentioned shows him in a very favourable light, since Radia says "I am not sure that he (Subramanium) will agree to what they say.
He is an upright person. I think Raja will be trying to get the AG".
Bhushan also refers to another purported taped conversation in which a former bureaucrat associated with BJP was found acting as an "agent" of an industrialist and his claims of having managed to get the BJP leadership to replace an MP in the list of speakers in Parliament because he was going to oppose a bill.
Bhushan said that instead of taking action against those in the BJP leadership who were acting as agents of an industrialist, the government has targeted an independent lawyer by using the bogey of his name being merely mentioned in the Radia tapes.
He said that so far as the other purported reason given by the government is concerned, i.e- meeting the lawyer of Raja in his chamber, "I do not think that there is anything unprofessional in such a meeting in the presence of CBI officers. An allegation of this type is absurd".
"I have observed the career of Subramanium since the beginning with considerable interest and I have found him to have the highest professional rectitude, a keen intellect and a capacity for hard work.
"It is indeed unfortunate that the country has lost the opportunity of having a great judge in the Supreme Court and the BJP needs to be roundly condemned for this. If this government continues in this vein, they will have the same fate as Mrs Gandhi`s 1971 government," he said.