Two senior law officers, additional solicitor generals — Mohan Parasaran and Vivek Tankha — have decided to opt out of the UPA government’s legal team in the SC, after having serving for eight and three years respectively.
Both Parasaran and Tankha have conveyed to the Centre that they should not be considered for a fresh term, once their current three-year tenure ends. The move is an indication of a deep sense of unease among the government’s team in the SC.
With the latest development, the number of law officers to have quit during last 10 months has gone up to four.
Earlier this year, Parag Tripathi, had resigned as ASG, citing “personal reasons”. The first resignation in UPA-II’s troubled legal team was that of ex-solicitor general Gopal Subramanium. He had quit after the Centre decided to replace him with Rohinton Nariman in a 2G related case.
Parasaran, who was first appointed as ASG in 2004 after the UPA came to power, said eight years is a long time. “Three consecutive terms is a long stint as a law officer of the government, therefore it is time to move on,” he said.
Tankha also confirmed he has requested the law minister Salman Khurshid to relieve him of the responsibility.
“Both, the minister and the Attorney General have been gracious in asking me to stay on. I am however, convinced it is time to return to my private practice and other passions,” Tankha said.
He declined to comment on whether distribution of work among the law officers was an issue. Their decision comes at a time when the Centre is facing a rough ride in the SC, though law ministry said both Parasaran and Tankha were never found wanting in their work.
Apart from the Attorney General and Solicitor General, the government has nine ASGs in the SC. It will have to fill up the three vacant posts and also decide about fresh tenures for the remaining ASGs.