Gopal Subramanium row: Centre defends decision, Cong flays BJP

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

“We have the highest respect for the Chief Justice of India.” RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD Union Law Minister

“The mess created by Centre has serious ramifications.” ABHISHEK SINGHVICongress spokesperson

Opposition latches on to Chief Justice Lodha’s criticism

Chief Justice of India RM Lodha’s criticism of the way the NDA Government handled the recommendation of the apex court’s collegium to appoint former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium as a judge has given the Opposition a handle to beat the Modi Government with.

Even as the Centre claimed that it was well within its rights to reject the proposals of the collegium, the Congress said building institutions has never been an agenda of the BJP.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that in the process of the appointment of judges, the Government has the right to make a comment on the suggestions of the collegium.

Whatever opinion the Government had given on Subramanium was based on fine ground, he said.

“I want to reiterate very firmly that the Narendra Modi Government has the highest respect for the judiciary. The independence of the judiciary, including the Supreme Court, is an article of faith for the Government. We have the highest respect for the Chief Justice of India,” Prasad said.

The Congress, however, stepped up its attack and said the BJP has proved once again that it has no respect for constitutional institutions.

“They have criticised the Election Commission. Their Government is the only Government in history that removed a serving service chief,” said senior advocate in the Supreme Court and Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi.

“The mess created by the Centre has extremely serious ramifications,” he said, adding that the way the issue of the appointment was handled was an assault on the independence of judiciary.

“It was a great breach of constitutional norms,” he added. Singhvi said the “sin” committed by Subramanium was that he served as an amicus curiae to the court in the encounter cases in Gujarat. “This marks nothing but the pettiness of the Modi Government,” he said.

‘Enmity apparent’

Citing a letter written by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2013, Singhvi said the enmity of the BJP leadership against Subramanium was apparent. Jaitley had questioned the actions of Subramanium in the letter.

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Published on July 02, 2014
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