Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam met President Pratibha Patil on Sunday, a day after he offered to resign, official sources said. Subramaniam offered to quit Saturday as the number two law officer of the country. Subramaniam is apparently piqued over union communications minister Kapil Sibal substituting him by senior counsel Rohington Nariman in the 2G scam case. He offered to quit in his communication to union law minister M. Veerappa Moily on Saturday.
However, Moily has asked him to hold back his resignation and wait till his return to Delhi on Monday.
Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati and the Solicitor General are reportedly not on the best of terms.
A reflection of their not-so-warm relationship was evident when in the course of the hearing of a matter, Subramaniam referred to a newspaper report about the irritations in the relations between the two and presenting him in dim light.
Sibal opting for Rohington Nariman to represent him before the apex court in matters relating to the 2G scam is seen as an expression of no-confidence in Subramaniam by an important minister of the government. This was viewed as a unveiled slight.
Nariman would represent Sibal before an apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly in the wake of Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) filing an affidavit alleging that the minister had favoured a service provider which was in trouble in the 2G imbroglio.
The decision to engage Nariman came in the backdrop of the indictment of the central government and its agencies in the apex court verdicts in the black money and Salwa Judum cases last week.
In both the cases the apex court had taken a dim view of the central government’s inaptitude in tracking the source of huge black money stashed away outside the country and recovering the same, and the constitutional validity of it supporting the arming of ill-trained and unqualified special police officers engaged in counter-insurgency operations.
The verdict in these two cases and also in 2G matter was seen as a failure of Solicitor General Subramaniam in arguing the central government’s case.
The apex court verdict in these two cases and in the 2G case came at a time when on the political front the government was under attack over several scams involving corrupt dealings and the onslaught of the civil society activists led by Anna Hazare.