SG Nariman resigns, second one to go in as many years

The second most senior law officer of the Central government, Solicitor General (SG) Rohinton F Nariman, Monday resigned from his post, about 18 months after he was appointed.

He became the second SG to resign without completing his tenure during the term of UPA-II. In July 2011, then SG Gopal Subramanium had suddenly quit after Nariman was appointed special counsel to represent Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal in a 2G-related case in the Supreme Court without Subramanium's knowledge.

While neither Nariman nor anyone from the government was ready to spell out the reasons for the resignation, it is believed that the eminent lawyer decided to put in his papers over differences with Law Minister Ashwani Kumar. Sources told The Indian Express that Nariman was not happy with the manner in which instructions in important court matters were being issued to him at virtually the last minute. Nariman did not give any reasons for quitting in his resignation letter.

In the last week of January, Nariman and the law minister are learnt to have had a serious difference of opinion over whether Nariman should represent the government before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) in an important case in which the government's right to raise financial demands retrospectively from mobile telecom companies is under challenge.

Sources said that while the government had informed the TDSAT that Nariman would argue the matter for the government at the hearing that had been fixed for January 28, Nariman, who had apparently not been informed in time, didn't make an appearance on that day.

There have been many occasions when law officers have been asked to appear in important cases at the last minute, with even court papers not being delivered to them in advance.

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