Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta on Friday 'clarified' that he did not meet Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Suvendu Adhikari, saying that though the latter came to his residence, the meeting could not take place.
"Shri Suvendhu Adhikari did come to my residence cum office yesterday at around 3pm, unannounced. Since I was already in a pre-scheduled meeting in my chamber, my staff requested him to sit in the waiting room of my office building and offered him a cup of tea. When my meeting was over and my staff informed me about his arrival, I requested my staff to convey to Mr Adhikari my inability to meet him and apologise as he had to wait," Mehta said in a statement.
This comes after the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking Mehta's removal over his meeting with Adhikari.
The letter, written by TMC MPs Derek O'Brien, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy and Mahua Maitra, stated that the meeting between Adhikari and the solicitor general "reeks of impropriety" as the BJP MLA is an accused in the Narada and Saradha cases where investigations are underway.
According to the letter, the meeting "curiously" took place subsequent to Adhikari's meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah.
The TMC MPs claimed that Adhikari was accused in various cases of cheating, bribery and illegal gratification, related to Narada and Saradha.
The Solicitor General is appearing for the CBI in the Narada case in the Supreme Court and the high court, besides advising the investigation agency in the Saradha chit fund scam, they said.
The meeting between Adhikari and the solicitor general "not only reeks of impropriety, there is a direct conflict of interest and also taints the position of the second highest law officer of the country, the Solicitor General", they added.
To maintain the "neutrality and integrity" of the office of the Solicitor General of India, necessary steps be taken for the removal of Mehta from the post, the TMC MPs said in the letter to the prime minister.
(With PTI inputs)