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New Delhi: The government today replaced Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium with Attorney General G E Vahanvati to represent prime minister Manmohan Singh in the Supreme Court in the second generation (2G) spectrum case in the wake of stinging observations from the bench, reports PTI.
Mr Vahanvati told PTI that the government has asked him to represent the prime minister in the case.
He, however, declined to comment on whether any special instructions had been given to him by the government in the matter.
Mr Subramanium, when contacted, said, "It is not a question of replacement but of better coordination. I will continue to represent the central government and the Department of Telecom on the issue while the Attorney General will represent the prime minister."
The Supreme Court had on Thursday asked the prime minister to file an affidavit by Saturday on the "alleged inaction" in responding to a plea seeking sanction to prosecute ex-telecom minister A Raja in the spectrum case, calling the matter "extremely serious."
A bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly had allowed an official to file the affidavit on behalf of the prime minister after agreeing to a plea by the Solicitor General in this regard.
The court had also said the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the 2G spectrum allocation placed in Parliament was "revealing".
The court was hearing a petition filed by Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy that had sought a direction to the prime minister for grant of sanction for prosecution of Mr Raja when he was the telecom minister. The prime minister is the respondent number one in the petition.
The court had on Tuesday asked some embarrassing questions on lengthy delay on the part of the Prime Minister in taking a decision on Mr Swamy's plea, calling the "alleged inaction and silence" troubling.
Mr Raja resigned on Sunday in the wake of mounting pressure on him over the spectrum allocation controversy.
The court had yesterday granted time to the Centre to file the affidavit after the Solicitor General said he is in a position to place before it the entire record on the issue and file an affidavit on behalf of the government.
The bench had also asked Mr Swamy that if he wanted to file any affidavit, he could do so by Monday. It posted the matter for further hearing on Tuesday.
Later, the Solicitor General had said the court's observations did not amount to passing strictures on the prime minister. "If judges cannot ask questions, then who will ask the questions? We know how to deal with questions and we will answer them," he said.
"Whatever was said (in the court) was part of a debate which takes place when a matter is adjudicated," he had said.
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