Sikri re­fuses govt of­fer of C’wealth tri­bunal post

The Asian Age - - Front Page -

New Delhi, Jan. 13: Jus­tice A. K. Si kr ion 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”.

Jus­tice 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 told PTI 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 ■

■ Con­tin­ued from Page 1 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 “a to­tally un­just con­tro­versy” has been raised by con­nect­ing

the two. “True 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 Jus­tice 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 re­moval of Verma from the post of CBI di­rec­tor. Jus­tice 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 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 CAST 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.

Jus­tice 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.

The source said Jus­tice Sikri “is a man of very sim­ple na­ture” and he felt that there should not be any con­tro­versy over his ap­point­ment.

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