New Delhi: Justice Markandey Katju said here on Friday that Gopal Subramaniam should have acted patiently over the issue of his proposed appointment as a Supreme Court judge under the collegium system.
“Under the judge’s case, the judgment of Supreme Court, where it was said that the government can return a recommendation of the collegium once, but if the collegium reiterates that recommendation, then the government has to appoint,” said Katju.
“In the Subrammaniam case, the government had returned the recommendation of the collegium at the time of the summer vacation of the Supreme Court, when there was no opportunity for the collegium to reconsider it, because most of the judges, including the chief justice were abroad. By the time the chief justice returned, Subramaniam had already gone to the public domain, levelling allegations and withdrawing his name. Instead, he should have been patient and not acted out of emotion, the chief justice even tried to persuade him. Had he kept silent, it would have added to his dignity, and he might have been appointed,” he added
Earlier, senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam had withdrawn his nomination for judge of the apex court after the government, citing a ‘negative’ CBI report, had asked the Supreme Court collegium to reconsider his nomination.
The government had apparently received a ‘negative’ report from the CBI about the lawyer who had represented the UPA Government in the 2G scam. It was also alleged that he has links with corporate lobbyist Nira Radia.
Katju also denied allegations of senior advocate U.U. Lalit being Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah’s lawyer or supporting criminals.
“He is an outstanding lawyer, and a man known to be of high integrity, very competent, very loyal. He was a lawyer practicing on the criminal side so his clients were people against whom criminal allegations have been made,” said Katju.
“A lawyer should not be identified with his clients. An ethical principle in legal profession is that a lawyer cannot refuse a brief, unless, he is engaged elsewhere or the client is not able to pay his fees. Lalit is totally misconceived, people don’t know him and they identified him with clients,” he added
Lalit’s name was cleared by the Supreme Court collegium for being a judge.