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Facing the heat over allegedly stalling former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium’s elevation as a Supreme Court judge, the NDA government preferred to maintain silence on the issue. It, however, snapped back at the Congress, pointing out how it had “played havoc” with the judiciary in the past.
“I don’t think it is appropriate for me as the law minister to make a comment on the matter. As far as Mr Gopal Subramanium’s public comment is concerned, we have no comment to offer,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said after the union cabinet meeting.
Former minister and Congressman Anand Sharma alleged that the Modi government prefers a “committed judiciary”.
Reacting to Sharma’s comments, Prasad said, “It was almost 40 years ago that Emergency was imposed. How were judges superseded at that time and what kind of havoc was created with judiciary by the then Congress government is well known.”
Meanwhile, according to home ministry sources, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) didn’t mention any personal oddity in the behaviour of Gopal Subramanium or his spiritual inclinations.
“IB’s report went to the government before the Narendra Modi government assumed office. The agency sent a factual report limiting itself to the concern with regard to national security, if any. Besides, Gopal Subramanium has been the solicitor general of the country before the Supreme Court panel of senior judges recommended his name for a judgeship at the top court. So where was the question of raising any doubt on his appointment now,” said a home ministry official requesting anonymity.
While Subramanium said that there are apprehensions that he will not toe the government line, Congress leader Manish Tewari said, “This is a very sad day for the legal fraternity. Subramanium is a very respected counsel. He has been a victim of alleged character assassination and has been compelled to take this step.”