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Thursday, Dec 02, 2021
Outlook.com
politics & law

Who Is This Man Firing The Gun For?

Goolam Essaji Vahanvati, the Attorney-General of India, courts more controversies than he helps dispel

 Who Is This Man Firing The Gun For?
PTI
Who Is This Man Firing The Gun For?
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

An A-G Who Is Looking Cagey

  • Opinion Polls: Advised the UPA that banning opinion polls during election campaigning is legally sustainable
  • CBI: Advised GoI to oppose greater autonomy to the CBI; also gave a legal opinion to keep the CBI out of the RTI Act
  • Nuclear liability: Perceived to have advised the government to allow dilution of nuclear liability by foreign suppliers
  • Black money: Opposed the Supreme Court order to constitute an SIT to bring back black money from abroad
  • Criminal MPs: PM consulted Vahanvati before cabinet clearance of ordinance (later withdrawn) on convicted lawmakers
  • Mystery caller: Lodges an FIR after a mysterious lady calls him up, pretending to be UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi
  • Swiss bank account: Accused by CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta to have hoarded black money in a Swiss bank (UBS) account. Serves a legal notice on the MP.
  • Coalgate: Accused by Additional S-G Harin Raval of suggesting changes in the CBI draft report, and then telling the SC he hadn’t seen it
  • Sasan: Opinion facilitated GoI to allow Reliance Power to move surplus coal from Sasan (Madhya Pradesh) to other plants to the detriment of Tata Power
  • 2G scam: As solicitor-general, was accused of furnishing an opinion that allowed A. Raja to arbitrarily allot 2G spectrum in 2008. Deposed as witness in CBI special court.

***

Things have come to such a pass that every move Goolam Essaji Vahanvati, the Attorney-General of India, makes ends up fuelling further speculation about his future. Three weeks ago, the close-knit community in Delhi’s Supreme Court was all aflutter when the normally reserved Vahanvati greeted lawyers and court reporters with big smiles, handshakes, and even a bit of chit-chat. Only the previous month, he had uncharacteristically lost his cool in the apex court, complaining “I cannot carry everything in my head” and saying that he was being asked too many questions, and too fast.

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