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HindustanTimes Thu,30 Oct 2014

Gopal unlikely to agree to SC’s Coalgate proposal

Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 19, 2014
First Published: 21:42 IST(19/7/2014) | Last Updated: 01:40 IST(20/7/2014)

A day after CJI RM Lodha proposed Gopal Subramanium’s name for appointment as special public prosecutor to try all the cases relating to the coal block allocation scam, HT has learnt that the senior advocate is unlikely to accept the Supreme Court’s offer.

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Advocate ML Sharma, one of the petitioners in the coal scam case said, “I’ve heard from his office that he is disinclined to take up the position as he was busy with prior work commitments.”

The CJI had, on July 18th, said that Subramanium was his first choice to try the `1.75 lakh crore Coalgate scam cases. He had also asked the advocates involved in the case — ML Sharma and Prashant Bhushan — to talk to the former solicitor general and convince him to take up the position.

However, sources close to Subramanium have told HT that the senior lawyer is unable to accept the post because of “pressing professional commitments”.

Late last month, Subramanium was at the centre of much uproar over the NDA’s government’s hesitation to accept Supreme Court collegiums’ proposal to make him a judge of the top court.

He withdrew his consent to become a Supreme Court judge after the NDA government returned his file to the Supreme Court’s collegiums citing lack of confidence in his credibility.

CJI R M Lodha had expressed his disappointment with how the senior lawyer handled the incident, and said he would’ve gotten the plum position if he had only had confidence that “the collegium would stick to its decision.”

In his withdrawal letter, the senior lawyer — who has previously served as special public prosecutor in the 2001 Parliament attack case — had vowed not to appear before in court no. 1 of the apex court till the CJI demitted office on September 27 this year.

Timeline of a judicial controversy:
May 14, 2014: CJI RM Lodha recommends the elevation of former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium to the judge of apex court.


June 11, 2014: Media reports circulate that NDA government plans to 'kill' Subramanium's nomination.


June 19, 2014: NDA government returns Subramanium's file to SC collegium citing adverse IB report. Subramanium denies all allegations levied at him.


June 25, 2014: Gopal Subramanium withdraws his name from the nominations. In his withdrawal letter, he says 'judiciary compromised.'


July 2, 2014: CJI asks Subramanium to re-think withdrawal letter, but the senior lawyer refuses.


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