After row, jus­tice Sikri says won’t join C’wealth body

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com CON­TIN­UED ON P 6

NEWDELHI: Jus­tice AK Sikri with­drew his con­sent for a place on the Com­mon­wealth Sec­re­tariat Ar­bi­tral Tri­bunal (CSAT) on Sun­day, hours after a me­dia re­port over his nom­i­na­tion to the Lon­don-based body sparked a po­lit­i­cal row.

Jus­tice Sikri voted with the gov­ern­ment in a three-mem­ber com­mit­tee to re­move Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (CBI) chief Alok Verma last week.

Sec­ond in se­nior­ity after Chief Jus­tice of In­dia (CJI) Ran­jan Go­goi, jus­tice Sikri was sched­uled to join CSAT after his re­tire­ment on March 6, news web­site Theprint re­ported. The de­ci­sion to nom­i­nate him as pres­i­dent/ mem­ber in the in­ter­na­tional body, which is the fi­nal ar­biter of dis­putes be­tween 53 mem­ber­coun­tries, was taken by the Union gov­ern­ment last month, it said.

Re­act­ing to the re­port, which came days after Verma was re­moved in a 2-1 vote by the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee, Con­gress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “When the scales of jus­tice are tam­pered with, anar­chy reigns. This PM will stop at noth­ing, stoop to any­thing & de­stroy ev­ery­thing, to cover up the Rafale Scam. He’s driven by fear. It’s this fear that is mak­ing him cor­rupt & de­stroy key in­sti­tu­tions.”

A per­son fa­mil­iar with the devel­op­ments said that jus­tice Sikri has con­veyed the with­drawal of his con­sent for the job to the gov­ern­ment on Sun­day evening. “Jus­tice Sikri’s con­sent for the CSAT po­si­tion by the gov­ern­ment was taken in the first week of De­cem­ber, when even the judg­ment in the Alok Verma case was not pro­nounced. More­over, jus­tice Sikri did not know un­til to­day about the nom­i­na­tion. And the CSAT po­si­tion is honorary and is not based out of Lon­don en­tirely, as the name sug­gests,” the per­son said on con­di­tion of anonymity.

The se­lec­tion com­mit­tee, chaired by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, also had leader of the largest Op­po­si­tion party in the Lok Sabha, Mal­likar­jun Kharge, and Jus­tice Sikri, who was nom­i­nated by CJI Go­goi after he re­cused him­self fol­low­ing the apex court’s judg­ment re­in­stat­ing Verma as the chief of the in­ves­ti­gat­ing agency.

HT FILE

Jus­tice AK Sikri

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