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I will talk to PM on Solicitor-General issue: Khursheed

Union Law Minister Salman Khursheed after assuming office in New Delhi on Wednesday. — Photo: V. Sudershan

Union Law Minister Salman Khursheed after assuming office in New Delhi on Wednesday. — Photo: V. Sudershan  

Moily says he is happy with new assignment and thanks Manmohan, Sonia

The new Law Minister, Salman Khursheed, on Wednesday said he would talk to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the resignation of Solicitor-General (SG) Gopal Subramaniam before deciding on the subject.

“I will take up the issue with the Prime Minister. After receiving necessary directions, I hope to decide on the matter soon,” he said.

Describing the Solicitor-General as an “excellent lawyer,” the Minister termed the episode “unfortunate.”

Mr. Subramaniam, who has been appearing for the government in 2G related cases in the Supreme Court, had put in his papers to register his protest over the decision of the government to appoint a private lawyer to defend Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal in a PIL litigation filed against him.

The comments of Mr. Khursheed came even as new Corporate Affairs Minister Veerappa Moily sought to put an end the controversy triggered by his statement that ‘vested interests' were behind his shift from the Law Ministry.

In an informal talk with journalists after taking charge, Mr. Moily said he was ‘happy' with his new assignment and thanked Dr. Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi for entrusting him with the responsibility.

“Yesterday was yesterday. Today I am here, in this Ministry and I look forward to future,” he said. Hours after the Cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday, he said “vested interests” behind the change in the portfolio and maintained that he could not be “hanged” for the “sins” of other Ministries.

Mr. Khursheed said he would continue with the important work and reforms initiated by his predecessor. He listed the Lokpal Bill, Food Security Bill, Communal Violence Bill, Judicial Accountability Bill and other follow-up legislations as some of the priorities on his agenda.

On the issue of land acquisition, he said there were quite a few existing good models of Land Acquisition Policy like that in Haryana. The government would work towards bringing the Bill to Parliament very soon.

On the debate over a system of appointment Supreme Court and High Court judges, he said all stakeholders should be taken on board before going ahead with the appointments.

“Now [with] the vast experience of all these years and the emergence of new challenges, people are beginning to think of a new generation institution to look after the appointment of judges.”

He said that for a while both retired judges and some sitting judges, Chief Justices and people familiar with legal institutions in government and Parliament have been reflecting on the issue.

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