Fast after a telephone call on Friday from union law minister Kapil Sibal, Rupinder Singh Khosla resigned as assistant solicitor general (ASG) of India for the Punjab and Haryana high court, citing "personal reasons".
He has sent his resignation to the union ministry of law and justice and confirmed it to the press. Khosla is considered close to the Akalis, who rule in Punjab and are rivals to the party in power at the Centre.
Asked about the specific reason for quitting, Khosla said a delegation of Congress legislators from Punjab had met United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi to complain that he was close to the Akalis and shouldn't have been appointed while a Congress-led alliance ruled the Centre. Khosla, it is learnt, acted on an advice from the union law ministry about a fortnight ago that if he failed to resign, the ministry would be compelled to remove him.
Later on Friday, a communication to Khosla from RS Shukla, joint secretary and legal adviser in the union ministry of law and justice, stated: "Your resignation from the post of the ASG of India for the Punjab and Haryana high court has been accepted by the competent authority." The message advised Khosla to "hand over all cases to ASG Anmol Rattan Sidhu immediately".
Who is Khosla
Appointed to the post of first assistant solicitor general by the union law ministry on April 3, 2013, to work with existing ASG Anmol Rattan Sidhu, a Congress loyalist
Appointed for two years, was given the powers of marking and distributing the cases in the high court to the councils on the central government panel as an overall officer in charge of litigation
Before being appointed, was additional advocate general in the Punjab advocate general's office during the Akali-BJP regime; also officiated as Punjab advocate general from August 6, 2010, to June 14, 2011, when the post was vacant
On October 11, 2011, was appointed senior additional advocate general; but since October 31, 2012, when the office was disbanded on the advice of advocate general Ashok Aggarwal, had refused to work as AAG and left the office
In February 26 last year, courted controversy when a Chandigarh police constable slapped him for allegedly misbehaving at the high court entrance, and later when a group of lawyers thrashed the cop; high court bar association protested against Chandigarh Police until March 11 when the high court quashed the first-information report (FIR) against 20 advocates.