Legal Blog: Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to Quit Bar Council Post?

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to Quit Bar Council Post?

Gopal Subramanium
Source : Indian Express

About six months after he was unanimously elected chairman of the Bar Council of India (BCI), the body which regulates legal profession in the country, Solicitor General (SG) Gopal Subramanium may have to put in his papers. When contacted, Subramanium refused to say anything on the issue.

Sources said Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily recently asked him to resign from his BCI post so that he could concentrate full-time on his job as the Government of India’s second senior-most law officer.

Subramanium has been in the eye of a storm after an affidavit settled by him in the 2G scam case resulted in the name of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh being dragged into the issue. Upset with the wording of the affidavit, the Law Minister ordered the immediate reversion of Department of Telecom’s legal adviser Santokh Singh to the Law Ministry. On Monday, Singh was placed under suspension for making false claims while giving an opinion in the 2G matter.

“The government wants the Solicitor General to resign the BCI post. He is representing the government in a number of important cases. Moreover, with the Law Ministry deciding to reform the legal education system as well as the legal profession, questions could arise on the issue of conflict in the two posts that the Solicitor General is holding. The views of the government and the BCI may not be the same on a number of issues such as the proposed Legal Practitioners (Regulations and Maintenance of Standards in Professions, Protecting the Interest of Clients and Promoting the Rule of Law) Act, 2010,” said a senior Law Ministry functionary privy to the issue.

Asked if there was a deadline by which Subramanium would have to resign, the officer said the government expected him to resign at the earliest. The minister, it is learnt, told Subramanium last week that it would be better if he stepped down from the post of chairman BCI to concentrate on his legal work.

Sources in the Law Ministry said that the judicial and legal education reforms initiated by the ministry could see some opposition from the BCI. The BCI’s move to hold an entry examination for aspiring lawyers has also run into rough weather, with the Law Ministry also not too keen on the exam being held. It has also received a large number of representations against the BCI move to hold the exam.


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