CJI hits out at Modi govt

CJI hits out at Modi govt

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India Hits Out at Modi Government, Chief Justice of India Justice RM Lodha said on Tuesday segregation of Subramanium’s name from the list of four judges

  • ‘Independence of judiciary should not be compromised’
  • Displeasure over how govt handled Gopal Subramanium issue

  • CJI-led Collegium recommended Gopal Subramanium for SC Judge
  • Govt dropped former Solicitor General’s name from list
  • CJI says segregation of name from the list unilateral
  • Regrets govt kept him in dark about crucial decision

Prime Minister Narendra ModiNew Delhi: Upset over former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium controversy, Chief Justice of India Justice RM Lodha said on Tuesday segregation of Subramanium’s name from the list of four judges – recommended by a panel headed by him – was unilaterally done by the Central government without his knowledge and consent.

He was speaking at farewell function for Justice BS Chauhan, a Supreme Court judge. Justice Lodha asserted that independence of judiciary was of utmost importance to him and told the lawyers at the function that "don't get the impression that independence of judiciary was compromised".

"I want to put the record straight. It (independence of judiciary) is non-negotiable. At no cost, the independence of judiciary will be compromised. I will not hold my office if I see the institution of judiciary has been compromised," he said.

"I promise 1.2 billion people of India that independence of judiciary will not be compromised," he said. The government tried to put up a brave face and insisted that it always held the CJI in "highest regard."

The Chief Justice, who was speaking on the controversy for the first time, said when he returned from abroad on June 28, a file from the Law Ministry had been placed before him indicating that three of the four names had been approved and the name of Gopal Subramanium was segregated.

Subramanium, resenting the exclusion of his name, withdrew his candidature and wrote to the CJI, accusing the government of a "dirt-digging exercise.''
Justice Lodha said that he had requested Subramanium to take back his letter withdrawing from the selection process, but the latter insisted on it. “In view of this, I felt there is no point in pursuing this matter," the CJI felt.

It may be noted that as amicus curiae in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, Subramanium argued against the Gujarat government and even brought out new facts which made the SC order a CBI probe in the case.

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