Jus­tice Sikri turns down Cen­tre’s of­fer

Was of­fered Com­mon­wealth panel post

The Hindu - - FRONT PAGE - Kr­ish­nadas Ra­jagopal

Jus­tice A.K. Sikri, the Supreme Court judge whose vote in the Prime Min­is­terled high-power com­mit­tee be­came de­ci­sive for the re­moval of Alok Verma as CBI Di­rec­tor, on Sun­day turned down an of­fer from the gov­ern­ment to nom­i­nate him to the Lon­don-based Com­mon­wealth Sec­re­tariat Ar­bi­tral Tri­bunal (CSAT).

The gov­ern­ment had made an “oral” of­fer to Jus­tice Sikri in the first week of De­cem­ber last year to nom­i­nate him as pres­i­dent/mem­ber of the CSAT.

The judge, sched­uled to re­tire from the Supreme Court on March 6, 2019, heard noth­ing fur­ther from the gov­ern­ment after that.

On Jan­uary 8, Jus­tice Sikri was nom­i­nated by Chief Jus­tice of In­dia Ran­jan Go­goi to take part in the meet­ing of the com­mit­tee, chaired by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, to con­sider Mr. Verma’s fate.

In a ma­jor­ity de­ci­sion, de­spite ob­jec­tions raised by Op­po­si­tion Leader Mal­likar­jun Kharge, the com­mit­tee voted against Mr. Verma con­tin­u­ing as the CBI Di­rec­tor.

The de­ci­sion came merely a day after Mr. Verma re­turned as CBI Di­rec­tor on the ba­sis of a Supreme Court judg­ment, which had found his “overnight” divest­ment from of­fice by the Cen­tral Vig­i­lance Com­mis­sion and the gov­ern­ment wrong.

The re­moval of Mr. Verma led to a storm of pub­lic crit­i­cism. Fol­low­ing this, on Sun­day, me­dia re­ports ap­peared about Jus­tice Sikri’s nom­i­na­tion to the CSAT.

“The of­fer was made by the gov­ern­ment orally in the first week of De­cem­ber 2018. Noth­ing more was heard about it. The judge [Jus­tice Sikri] was given to un­der­stand that the as­sign­ment con­cerned de­cid­ing ap­pli­ca­tions filed by mem­bers of the staff of the Com­mon­wealth Sec­re­tariat or in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Com­mon­wealth en­ti­ties. He has now re­fused the of­fer,” a source said.

Jus­tice A.K. Sikri

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