A day after he sent his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, solicitor general Gopal Subramanium on Sunday said the ball was now in the government’s court to decide on the crucial issue of “dignity of the position held by its law officers”.
The government, however, was confident that the crisis which erupted after Subram-anium was replaced by Rohinton Nariman, a private lawyer, for Monday’s crucial hearing in the 2G spectrum case in the Supreme Court, would be resolved in a day or two.
Subramanium, the second highest ranking law officer in the government after the attorney general, said he was hurt for
not having been consulted on the issue.
Top jurists and the country’s apex regulator for the legal profession, the Bar Council of India (BCI), backed Subramanium “for his bold decision”.
"It is not a matter merely concerning an individual lawyer. I decided to take this step since I felt it was my duty to fight for the dignity of the solicitor general’s office,” Subramanium told the Hindustan Times.
A visibly hurt Subramanium said since he was brought barely a week ago to head the government’s legal team in the 2G case, “the decision should have been respected”.
Asked whether he would withdraw his resignation, Subramanium was non-committal. “It would depend on the government’s response from the top level.
“Such posts of constitutional functionaries need to be treated with respect.” On his meeting with President Pratibha Patil on Sunday, Subramanium said it was merely a courtesy call.
Former chief justice of India JS Verma supported Subramanium’s stand. “I would have done the same, had I been in his position. The government could have handled the delicate situation better.”
Verma said both Subramanium and Nariman are good lawyers who believe in ethical values and the “government with its reckless handling has made a grave error by pitting them against each other”.