AS former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium withdrew his candidature as Supreme Court judge after the BJP government red-flagged his appointment, the Congress Wednesday called the development “ominous” and accused the government of abusing institutions.
The Congress echoed Subramanium’s contention that his role as amicus curiae in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case could have been the reason for the government opposing his elevation. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, on the other hand, chose to play it safe and refused to react to the charges levelled by the former solicitor general.
“Gopal Subramanium is one of the finest legal minds of India,” said senior Congress leader Anand Sharma. “What is happening is ominous,” he said on the government’s opposition to Subramanium’s appointment. Asked what could be the reason, Sharma said: “It is clear (as to) who Gopal Subramanium is and the kind of cases he has been handled.”
Asked for his reaction, Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “I don’t think it is appropriate for me as the Law Minister to make a comment on the matter. As far as Mr Gopal Subramanium’s public comment is concerned, we have no comment to offer.”
Queried about the Congress attack on the government on the issue, Prasad talked about the Emergency period and said: “How were judges superseded at that time and what kind of havoc was created with the institution of judiciary by the Congress government then is well known.”
Birla said her campaign this time is “very similar” to the last time.