A lawyer walks past outside Indian Supreme Court
A lawyer walks past outside Indian Supreme CourtReuters

Lawyer Gopal Subramanium, who was the amicus curiae in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case that had controversially embroiled the erstwhile Narendra Modi Gujarat government, withdrew his name from the appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Subraminium was in the running to become a Supreme Court judge after the court's collegium recommended his name. However, the Modi-led central government had differed on the recommendation.

Subramanium wrote a nine-page long letter to the Chief Justice of India RM Lodha, in which he blamed the media for having made "malicious insinuations based on half-truths and appear to be a result of carefully planted leaks aimed at generating doubts in the minds of the collegium and of the public as to the suitability and propriety," according to PTI.

Speaking about his reasons for having withdrawn his name from the apex court appointment, Subramanium told Times Now new channel: "The first reason is that when you want to enter a constitutional office, you need to have a certain amount of trust in the appointment."

"I was the victim of leaks being planted around in the media," he added. "I do not wish my character be questioned by an executive government, particularly by agencies such as the CBI and the Intelligence Bureau."

Subramanium said he was being targeted for his role in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, in which he had asked the Gujarat police to file a murder case in the matter and had later insisted that the case be transferred to the CBI. He was also instrumental in the Supreme Court's decision to bar Amit Shah, now slated to be the Bharatiya Janata Party head, from entering the state of Gujarat.

Subramanium also expressed his disappointment in the judiciary, saying that it had let him down. "The court owes me in the very least, a clear statement of confidence, although my personal character is not dependent on the outcome of such willingness," he wrote in the letter.

The Centre had earlier disagreed with the Supreme Court collegium's recommendations that former solicitor general Subramanium be appointed as a Supreme Court Judge, citing "adverse" reports from CBI and the Intelligence Bureau.

The CBI is said to have alleged that Subramanium had attempted to make the agency coordinate with former Telecom Minister A Raja's counsel during the 2G scam probe. Subramanium's name was also dragged into the Radia tapes controversy when an intercepted telephonic conversation between him and Nira Radia had gone public.

However, several reports have suggested that the Centre's discomfort with the lawyer is rooted more in his role in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. Shah was arrested in the case on charges of murder.

"My independence as a lawyer is causing apprehensions that I will not toe the line of the government. This factor has been decisive in refusing to appoint me," Subramanium had said.