Govt stops trying to mollify S-G Subramanium; to accept papers

Solicitor-general Gopal Subramanium is seeing perhaps his last day in office, as a miffed government has apparently decided to accept his resignation rather than try to further persuade him to withdraw it.

Subramanium's resignation was apparently in protest because he was not asked to defend telecom minister Kapil Sibal and attorney general G E Vahanvati in a public interest litigation accusing the two of favouring Anil Ambani's Reliance Communications. Instead, the government fielded senior advocate R F Nariman to defend them – successfully, as the Supreme Court on Monday rejected the petition.

There were ample indications on Monday that the government would not make any further efforts to persuade Subramanium to stay on, since he went ahead with his resignation despite requests from the top level of the government.

''The prime minister spoke to him on Saturday and the same evening, the law minister asked him not to resign, but he even took the matter to the President on Sunday,'' Hindustan Times quoted an unnamed top government official as saying.

Law minister M Veerappa Moily hinted that a final decision would be taken in two or three days, since the focus at the moment is on Tuesday's cabinet reshuffle.  Moily met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and telecom minister Kapil Sibal during the day. He also spoke to Subramanium, but has not reportedly made any fresh request to him to withdraw his resignation.

''We have taken note of Subramanium going public on the issue, which in our view is a serious matter. He sent his resignation directly to the PM and the law minister got it only in the morning,'' said the official.