New Delhi: Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran has withdrawn himself from appearing in the controversial Sethusamudram project matter in the Supreme Court, saying his arguing the case would result in conflict of interest as his father is appearing for one of the petitioners opposing the Rs 25,000 crore shipping channel project.
Parasaran said since his father K Parasaran is appearing for one of the petitioners, he has asked the government to engage somebody else and senior advocate Rajiv Dhawan will appear in his place.
"Because senior Parasaran (K Parasaran) is appearing for one of the petitioners and it is a sensitive matter, to avoid any further controversy I have asked the government to engage somebody who has no conflict of interest," the Solicitor General said.
Asked whether his personal religious faith was coming in his way to appear in the matter, Parasaran said that like people of any other religious faith he also has a personal faith, but the larger issue that remains is to avoid conflict of interest in the matter as his father is appearing for someone who is opposing the project.
"My personal faith is there. No Muslim, Christian or Hindu will go against his personal faith. But the larger issue is conflict of interest," he said.
He further said that he has opted out from the matter since if something goes wrong it would be said that "I have conspired", adding that he had taken the decision three weeks ago.
On September 16, the Centre had brushed aside objections raised by the Tamil Nadu government against the Sethusamudram project by telling the apex court that it intends to go ahead with the venture as the expert panel headed by R K Pachauri has not come out with tenable and scientific data.
Tamil Nadu government had said the controversial project should be scrapped and the Centre should accept the Committee report that has found the entire project unviable on two fronts -- economically and ecologically.