Eminent lawyer Gopal Subramanium today opted out of being considered for appointment as Supreme Court judge after lashing out at the Narendra Modi government accusing it of ordering CBI to "scrounge" for "dirt" against him to scuttle his elevation.
Subramanium, who had assisted the Supreme Court in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in which Amit Shah, a close aide of Prime Minister Narender Modi is now an accused, said that he was being "targeted" because of his independence and integrity.
He suggested that his role as amicus curiae, a friend of the court, in the Sohrabuddin case, could have been the reason for government opposing his elevation, although he had no direct evidence.
Subramanium, a former Solicitor General, sent a 9-page letter to the Chief Justice of India R M Lodhawithdrawing his consent to be appointed as a judgesaying that he did not want his elevation to be "the subject matter of any politicisation".
His name had been recommended for appointment to the Supreme Court bench by its collegium along with three others, Chief Justices of Calcutta and Odisha High Courts Arun Mishra and Adarsh Kumar Goyal respectively and senior advocate Rohinton Nariman.
Recent reports have suggested the NDA government's reluctance to Subramanium's appointment while it is said to have cleared the other three names. The CBI and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) are said to have given adverse reports against him.
Subramanium said that he had been informed by the Chief Justice on May 15 that he had been given a clean chit by both IB and CBI.But in the past two weeks media reports had spoken about alleged adverse reports against him by the two agencies.
The events of the past few weeks "have raised serious doubts in my mind as to the ability of the executive government to appreciate and respect the independence, integrity, and the glory of the judicial institution", he wrote to the Chief Justice, adding, "I do not expect this attitude to improve with time".
He said that he had never met Modi except once when he was the Solicitor General and the former was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He had been greeted "with a measure of respect" by Modi who had invited him and his wife to Gujarat as his guests of honour although he had not availed of that hospitality.
Subramanium said that he had never met Amit Shah and had only