Putting at rest all speculation, law minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday finally accepted the resignation of solicitor general, Gopal Subramanium, and forwarded the file to the Prime Minister’s Office for final approval.
Subramanium had resigned last Saturday in protest against the government’s decision to engage a private lawyer, Rohinton Nariman, to defend the telecom minister Kapil Sibal and attorney general GE Vahanvati in an affidavit filed against them in the Supreme Court.
“The competent authority (law minister) has accepted the resignation of learned solicitor general and sent it to the PMO,” said a senior government offcial.
Subramanium, who had made it clear that he had quit to protect the dignity of the office of solicitor general, declined to comment on the issue
The 53 year-old Subramanium, a designated senior lawyer in the Supreme Court, was appointed to the second highest-ranking post of government law officers in 2009.
Subramanium’s resignation from the post of solicitor general would also automatically lead to his exit as the chairman of the Bar Council of India (BCI) — the apex regulator of the legal profession and education in the country.
Considered the face of the UPA government’s team of law officers during the tenure of former law minister HR Bhardwaj till 2009, Subramanium’s relations with Bhardwaj’s successor, M Veerappa Moily and attorney general, GE Vahanvati, were never smooth.
Subramanium represented the government in many high-profile cases, including the defreezing of the London bank accounts of Bofors case accused Ottavio Quattrocchi, dissolution of the Bihar assembly, expulsion of MPs by the Lok Sabha speaker and the charge-sheeted ministers’ case.
He also served as counsel to various judicial and enquiry commissions, most notably, for the justice JS Verma Commission of Inquiry into security lapses leading to the assassination of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Subramaniam was also closely associated with the Lyngdoh Committee and the Raghavan Committee.