Before CJI spoke on Gopal’s rejection, he wrote to Govt: Shouldn’t happen in future

Chief Justice of India R M Lodha expressed his disapproval in a letter to Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: July 4, 2014 8:30 am
lodha I don’t approve of segregation… without my knowledge, concurrence, he said.

A day before he publicly criticised the NDA government for its “unilateral” move to segregate former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium from the panel of four names recommended for appointment as Supreme Court judges by the collegium, Chief Justice of India R M Lodha expressed his disapproval in a letter to Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, and said the government should not adopt such “unilateral segregation” in the future.

In his one-page letter sent on June 30, Lodha wrote, “I don’t approve of segregation of proposal without my knowledge and concurrence…In future, such a procedure of unilateral segregation should not be adopted by the Executive.”

According to highly placed sources, the letter was received by Prasad’s office on Wednesday, and is awaiting his directions.
Conveying his strong displeasure, Lodha wrote, “You have segregated the proposal with respect to Gopal Subramanium from the other three names, which have now been referred back… Subramanium has in the meantime withdrawn his consent… He has also reiterated his withdrawal of consent… I am left with no choice but to withdraw the proposal relating to him and in view thereof, the occasion for reconsideration of the proposal relating to him by the collegium does not arise.”

The letter stated that the Supreme Court collegium had recommended the four names — Calcutta High Court Chief Justice Arun Mishra, Orissa High Court Chief Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, senior advocate Rohinton Nariman and Subramanium — in order of seniority.

At a farewell function organised for Justice B S Chauhan on Tuesday, Justice Lodha had said the government’s decision was “not proper”.
“On my return from abroad on June 28, a file was placed before me by the Ministry of Law and Justice, indicating that out of the four names, three proposals had been approved and the name of Gopal Subramanium was segregated. It was done unilaterally… without my knowledge and consent,” he said.

“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.

While the three other names were cleared, Subramanium’s elevation was blocked by the Modi government following a “negative” report by the CBI questioning his propriety as SG in the 2G case and his alleged links with former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, whose intercepted phone conversations are under CBI scrutiny.

The CJI had disclosed that he had met Subramanium for 75 minutes after his return and asked him tro reconsider his decision on withdrawal. But on June 29, Subramanium wrote another six-line letter reiterating his decision.

The CJI had said he was “shocked” and “disappointed” when Subramanium made his letter on withdrawal of consent public although he asked him to wait till his return on June 28.

Defending the government’s decision on Wednesday, Prasad had said it was based on “cogent, proper and sound grounds.” He had asserted that in the process of appointment of judges, the government had the right to be consulted.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now

  1. A
    Adv.abdul qadir
    Jul 4, 2014 at 9:23 am
    Justice lodha is right in regard of subramaniam's elevation.govt.can not adopt a unilateral methodology in appointment of judges
    Reply
    1. A
      Abdulraheman Patrawala
      Jul 4, 2014 at 2:32 am
      Modi Sarkar at Gujarat has given the same treatment to Justice Mehta in Lokayukta case. With respect, both Justice Mehta and Gopal Subramanium have proved to be fugitive virtues .“I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat. ” ― John Milton, Areopagitica . Aeropagitica was for the freedom of press and the recent is for the freedom of judiciary... THE NATION IS OBLIGED BY OUR LORDSHIP CJI.
      Reply
      1. A
        Alani Adana
        Jul 4, 2014 at 1:28 pm
        I regret to say that judiciary has long lost their "lordship" (if it is not wrong to say) In fact the lawyers and even .... in some case .......are advising how to cheat the judiciary.If a judge is always correct then how come revise peion ..etc.So the intelligence report is a must now to prevent security threat to our country.
        Reply
        1. L
          Lokpal
          Jul 4, 2014 at 10:10 am
          Govt. has segregated one name based on the intelligence or other agencies reports. To solve the problem, in future, collegeum should ask first the reports from the agencies for the candidates for selection without intimating Govt. and based on the report, it should send the names who clears all the criteria to the Govt. to avoid such type of situation any more.
          Reply
          1. G
            Ghantaghar
            Jul 4, 2014 at 4:03 am
            The CJI is now doing the same type of things as the political parties by airing his comments in public. This is high time that the Judicial Commission is established without delay and the monopoly of Judiciary is curtailed. There have been enough instances to prove that SC judges are also human beings and make errors.
            Reply
            1. H
              Harry Haran
              Jul 4, 2014 at 8:30 am
              Well the CJI is wrongly mistaken that he is above the Executive in this case. Judiciary and Executive are equal when it comes to appointment of SC judges. This Lodha also seems to be an appointee of UPA - hence wants to return the favor to UPA, which sadly will never again return to Power at the Centre. The CJI should just serve his balance term and retire peacefully. This NDA govt. wants to do Good for the country - not for CJI.
              Reply
              1. L
                Layman
                Jul 3, 2014 at 10:31 pm
                Pray educate us... What was the Chief Justice doing in Russia? Seems to me that a person so close to the erstwhile Soviet Union, is bound to see BJP in less than favorable terms. Maybe its time for him to follow Mr.Gopal Subramaniam.
                Reply
                1. M
                  mukund phadnavis
                  Jul 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm
                  With utmost respect to his Lordship, I think Chief Justice Lodha is reaching out of his jurisdiction. Judges are appointed on the recommendation of CJI but this recommendation, if final and binding, President will have no say or become redundant. Similarly Article 74 of Consution will come under shadow of CJI's authority. This is not a sound preposition. Doctrine of separation of powers will get ailed. This is precise reason as to why Chief justice is himself not appointing authority for High Court and Supreme Court Judges.
                  Reply
                  1. N
                    narayan
                    Jul 4, 2014 at 9:46 am
                    Presumably CJI is sympathizer of the congress party he tries to be a super judge than the elected Govt. Authorities should watch him carefully.
                    Reply
                    1. N
                      Nikhil
                      Jul 4, 2014 at 9:14 am
                      “On my return from abroad on June 28, a file was placed before me..". now we know why there is a backlog of lakhs of outstanding cases.
                      Reply
                      1. N
                        Narpatsinh
                        Jul 4, 2014 at 8:54 am
                        It is learnt that Congeress has always appoint the top of all Govt Insutes who are well wishers of Congeress even in Judicary also.
                        Reply
                        1. J
                          jayaram jayaram
                          Jul 4, 2014 at 12:56 pm
                          Letting the CJI to give the list of candidates to be appointed judges of the SC is like putting the fox to guard the chicken house. The PM should invite nominations from various sources and select the candidates with the advice of his cabinet and get them approved by the parliament by a vote. If the present procedure is in the consution, the consution should be amended. Even if the CJI is asked to give a list, it should have more names than the vacancies and the PM should have the authority to choose and select.
                          Reply
                          1. R
                            ram
                            Jul 5, 2014 at 7:49 am
                            Disgusting. Leaves one wondering whatever taxes we pay to Government is being lost and nothing is gained materially or morally.
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              Shyamal Ganguly
                              Jul 4, 2014 at 12:38 am
                              Watch out. Lodha has been appointed by SLONIA GADDHI PARIVAR to save VADERA and CONGRESS. Lodha's choice of word is also funny. Out four names, govt. found objections in Subramanian endort. Why is LODHA using the word SEGREGATION.? We understand the word related to apartheid, or infectious disease or hard core dangerous criminal. SEGGREGATION??? Govt. did the right thing in objecting the lift of Subramanian to SC.
                              Reply
                              1. Load More Comments