In a nine-page letter to Chief Justice of India R M Lodha, former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium on Wednesday withdrew his consent for appointment as a Supreme Court judge protesting against “a very carefully orchestrated drama” to scuttle his elevation.
Following are excerpts from the letter: “I have felt deeply honoured and moved by your request and persuasion to be a Judge of the Supreme Court. I have felt very proud that the members of the Collegium have participated in this powerful invitation.
“I must add that to invite a leading member of the Bar, and his appointment to the Court, must engender expectations of positive conduct and contribution. I have always believed that the Executive Government would so perceive and understand. Clearly, this is not the case. The recent weeks have witnessed some serious constitutional aberrations.
“Over the past two weeks quite a few media reports have voiced the Union Government’s reservations about my appointment. These reports speak of alleged adverse reports
against me by the Intelligence Bureau and the CBI. I must say that these media reports are malicious insinuations based on half-truths, and appear to be a result of carefully planted
leaks aimed at generating doubts in the minds of the Collegium and of the public as to the suitability and propriety of appointing me as a judge of the Supreme Court.
“I am fully conscious that my independence as a lawyer is causing apprehensions that I will not toe the line of the Government. This factor has been decisive in refusing to appoint me. I have no illusions that this is so.”
“I must, therefore, take this opportunity to clarify the allegations made in these news reports. I may add that on May 15, 2014, the Intelligence Bureau had given me a clean chit.
The IB has sought my advice on sensitive matters of national security for over 25 years (including during the previous NDA regime). In fact, the then Deputy prime Minister, Shri L K Advani, used to treat me with so much courtesy. The CBI has also consulted me on numerous occasions (before, during, and after my tenure as Law Officer) and I continued to have been its lead lawyer even after my resignation from the post of Solicitor General.
One wonders why the CBI would repeatedly engage me as lead counsel over the past 20 years if there was any doubt. I have reliably learnt that the Ministry of Law and Justice initiated an inquiry after May 15, 2014, with a clear mandate to find something to describe me as unsuitable.
Further, media reports have alleged that I had convened a meeting between CBI’s officers and the counsel for a person who was a suspect at the time in the 2G case. This is factually incorrect. CBI officers never met with Mr.T R Andhyarujina (senior advocate) at my hyome or office in connection with the 2G case, or even otherwise.
I may add that I had advised the then Prime Minister, subsequently, to allow an investigation by the CBI into the conduct of the then Telecom Minister (A Raja) notwithstanding the disposal of the Writ Petition relating to arbitrary allotments. The Prime Minister accepted my advice.