While corporate affairs minister M Veerappa Moily denied he was unhappy over being moved from the law ministry, the blame game over setbacks suffered by the government is not likely to be settled soon as the leader resents being held to account for the reverses.
Sources said Moily keenly resented being accused of not managing the government’s cases like the 2G, salwa judum and black money, and this triggered his outburst against “vested” interests. Keen not be seen as disaffected, he said that he was willing to work in any portfolio allotted to him.
In view of the SC’s monitoring role and the response of concerned ministries, the law ministry had a limited role in cases being monitored by the Supreme Court and with investigative agencies reluctant to share status reports. The decision to appoint K K Venugopal as counsel, make U U Lalit public prosecutor and ask noted lawyer Rohington Mistry to appear in a telecom case became flashpoints.
The finance ministry and agencies like Enforcement Directorate were responding to the SC’s queries on recovery of black money from abroad, the home ministry was largely responsible for the Salwa Judum case and telecom ministry was devising its defense in the 2G and related cases, said sources.
The claim that Moily was bypassed is countered by others who argue that the situation was a result of poor communication between the apex court and the government. They point to the inability of law officers to present convincing cases in court and the absence of leadership. The ministry had lost sight of its core tasks.
The blame game is not likely to be settled soon although the government seems to have leaned on the side of the law ministry’s critics in its response to the resignation of solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam, whom it is ready to let go. It has not seen sufficient merit in his grievance of being overlooked in the appointment of Mistry.
Telecom ministry sources have maintained that Mistry was appointed for a case that was coming up for admission, and was not a part of the 2G case. It was a PIL seeking the case be added to the investigation and Subramaniam had been rather hasty in making it a prestige issue.