M A I N   N E W S

SGPC poll row
Govt: Counsel didn’t represent us properly
Aditi Tandon/TNS

New Delhi, September 5
Putting the blame of the SGPC poll controversy on senior counsel Harbhagwan Singh, Law Minister Salman Khursheed today said it was the counsel who failed to represent the government adequately in the case and he had therefore been withdrawn.

“How could he convey to the High Court a decision that had not even been taken by the government? Who would have taken the decision to rescind the 2003 notification barring Sehajdari Sikhs from participating in SGPC poll? Either the Cabinet would have taken that decision or the Home Ministry through the Prime Minister. When none of this was done, how could the counsel say what he said to the court?” Khursheed told The Tribune today.

He ruled out any action against the counsel from the Law Ministry side and said the withdrawal of the counsel was sufficient. He added that the SGPC poll would take place as per the schedule. The Law Ministry’s role in the matter is important as this ministry engaged Harbhagwan Singh for the case.

But Khursheed explained, “Some local Congress leaders asked us to appoint a senior counsel to deal with the case they thought was not being properly argued. We asked them who they wanted us to engage. They recommended Harbhagwan Singh and we engaged him. In the High Court, he did not conduct himself in the manner he should have. So we immediately withdrew him.”

Asked why a senior counsel like Harbhagwan Singh would say something of his own accord had someone in the Government not asked him to say so, Khursheed replied, “The Home Minister has said he would have that part looked into. So far as we go, we have no intentions of doing anything excepting withdrawing the said counsel. No further action would help anyone. The matter stands rested." Asked to comment on Harbhagwan's claim that he received a call from a government official, Khursheed said, “He received a call. That's fine. But what did the caller tell him? The caller simply told him to argue the case according to the law, which he failed to do. Did the caller ask him to say what he said?"





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