Judge who voted to re­move CBI chief says no to govt of­fer

JUS­TICE SIKRI IS THE 2ND SE­NIOR-MOST JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT

Millennium Post - - Front Page -

NEW DELHI: Jus­tice AK Sikri on Sun­day with­drew his con­sent to a gov­ern­ment of­fer to nom­i­nate him for pres­i­dent/mem­ber in the Lon­don-based Com­mon­wealth Sec­re­tar­iat Ar­bi­tral Tri­bunal (CSAT).

The gov­ern­ment is un­der­stood to have rec­om­mended Supreme Court Jus­tice Sikri’s name for CSAT late last year.

Tak­ing note of the devel­op­ment, Con­gress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet that “when the scales of jus­tice are tam­pered with, an­ar­chy reigns”.

Sikri’s con­sent was “taken orally for a va­cancy” in the Com­mon­wealth tri­bunal, sources said.

Sources close to the se­cond se­nior-most judge af­ter the Chief Jus­tice of In­dia Ran­jan Go­goi said that the con­sent was with­drawn Sun­day evening when the judge wrote to the Law Min­istry, seek­ing with­drawal of his con­sent.

The insin­u­a­tion link­ing the CSAT as­sign­ment with Jus­tice Sikri’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the com­mit­tee, which de­cided on the ouster of Alok Verma as CBI di­rec­tor, was wrong, they said.

“Since this con­sent was taken in the first week of De­cem­ber 2018, it has no con­nec­tion with the CBI mat­ter for which he be­came the CJI’S nom­i­nee only in Jan­uary 2019,” the sources added.

They said, “an un­just con­tro­versy” has been raised by con­nect­ing the two.

“Facts are that some­time in the first week of De­cem­ber 2018, Jus­tice Sikri’s con­sent was taken orally for a va­cancy in Com­mon­wealth Sec­re­tar­iat Ar­bi­tral Tri­bunal (CSAT).

“CSAT is meant to de­cide ser­vice dis­putes be­tween the em­ploy­ees of the Com­mon­wealth Sec­re­tar­iat and the Com­mon­wealth Sec­re­tar­iat it­self,” sources close to Sikri said.

Jus­tice Sikri was part of the three­mem­ber panel along with Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and se­nior Con­gress leader Mal­lika­jurn Kharge which de­cided on the re­moval of Verma from the post of CBI Di­rec­tor.

Sikri’s vote proved cru­cial to re­move Verma from his post as Kharge op­posed the move strongly while the gov­ern­ment was push­ing for Verma’s re­moval.

On the CSAT is­sue, the sources said, “It is not an as­sign­ment on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. There is no monthly re­mu­ner­a­tion. There may be two to three hear­ings in a year. There was no ques­tion of stay­ing in Lon­don or at any other place.”

The gov­ern­ment has not got back to him on the CSAT as­sign­ment, they said.

“The gov­ern­ment had ap­proached him for the part-time as­sign­ment last month. He gave his con­sent. The job re­quired at­tend­ing two to three hear­ing per year and came with­out emol­u­ments,” the sources said.

Sikri wrote a let­ter to the com­pe­tent au­thor­ity in the gov­ern­ment with­draw­ing his con­sent.

“He (Jus­tice Sikri) has with­drawn his con­sent; he has given no rea­sons. He just wanted to be away from the con­tro­versy,” a source close to Jus­tice Sikri said.

Hit­ting out at the gov­ern­ment, se­nior Con­gress leader Ahmed Pa­tel said the Cen­tre has a “lot of ex­plain­ing to do” on the nom­i­na­tion of Sikri to CSAT.

Of­fi­cial sources said nom­i­na­tion of Sikri, who re­tires on March 6, was made last month fol­low­ing an in­ter­nal process car­ried out by the Law Min­istry. The Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs Min­istry com­mu­ni­cated to CSAT about In­dia’s nom­i­na­tion, the sources said.

There was no re­ac­tion from ei­ther the Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs or the Min­istry of Law and Jus­tice on it.

NEW DELHI: Se­nior Con­gress leader Ahmed Pa­tel said Sun­day gov­ern­ment has a "lot of ex­plain­ing to do" on the nom­i­na­tion of Jus­tice A K Sikri to the va­cant post of pres­i­dent/ mem­ber in the Lon­don-based Com­mon­wealth Sec­re­tar­iat Ar­bi­tral Tri­bunal (CSAT).

"The Gov­ern­ment has a lot of ex­plain­ing to do (sic)," Pa­tel said in a tweet tag­ging a me­dia re­port.

The gov­ern­ment is un­der­stood to have rec­om­mended Supreme Court Judge A K Sikri's name as In­dia's nom­i­nee for pres­i­dent/mem­ber in the CSAT.

Of­fi­cial sources said nom­i­na­tion of Sikri, who re­tires on March 6, was made last month fol­low­ing an in­ter­nal process car­ried out by the Law Min­istry.

Jus­tice Sikri, the se­cond se­nior-most judge in the apex court af­ter Chief Jus­tice of In­dia Ran­jan Go­goi, was part of the three-mem­ber panel along with Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and se­nior Con­gress leader Mal­lika­jurn Kharge which de­cided on re­moval of Alok Verma from the post of CBI Di­rec­tor.

Sikri's vote proved cru­cial to re­move Verma from his post as Kharge op­posed the move strongly while the gov­ern­ment was push­ing for Verma's sack­ing. Jus­tice Sikri sup­ported the gov­ern­ment.

The Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs Min­istry com­mu­ni­cated to CSAT about In­dia's nom­i­na­tion, the sources said.

There was no re­ac­tion from ei­ther the Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs or the Min­istry of Law and Jus­tice on it.

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