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SC collegium judge bats for Gopal Subramanium, urges CJI to push back against government | ‘Sources’ say GS will withdraw | IB calls him odd

A judge on the Supreme Court’s collegium, talking on condition of anonymity to the Economic Times, has come out in support of elevating senior counsel Gopal Subramanium to the Supreme Court, despite the government’s attempts to veto his earlier nomination.

The judge said that Subramanium’s “credibility and integrity” were beyond doubt and that all the objections raised by the government, such as a taped telephone conversation between him and lobbyist Niira Radia, had been known to the collegium:

There was nothing against him and all these facts, which are now being cited, were known to us. This was a unanimous decision, and everyone was so happy to recommend Gopal, he is a man of integrity.

I know about this conversation with Nira Radia, this actually goes in his favour, where Radia is heard saying Gopal is a decent man, he can't be handled or managed. And he is being targeted for a small thing like membership of swimming pool.

CJI can and should reiterate the recommendation, he can also refuse to administer oath to the other three judges, till Gopal's name is cleared and file sent to him… It is about independence of Judiciary, the institution is being maligned, this was a unanimous decision. If I was the CJI, I would reiterate it. The SC Collegium knows everything about the counsels, we consider everything, integrity, competence, only then we make recommendation

Update: NDTV reported, citing “official sources”, that Subramanium would withdraw, while senior NDTV Journalist Barkha Dutt tweeted @bdutt:

my information is he is withdrawing […] formal announcement expected shortly

Subramanium was not reachable for comment.

Meanwhile, Firspost reported that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) report on Subramanium questioned his appointment because of “personal oddities” and “odd behaviour”, that in occasional decision making he relied on, Firstpost wrote, “spiritual instincts rather than rational logic”.

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