SC judge who voted against CBI chief declines C’wealth post
Deeply Distressed By Reports Linking The Two: Sikri
The judgment of the Supreme Court (on Alok Verma being sent on leave) came in January first week and till the pronouncement of judgment, there was no way I would have known that I would one day be nominated by the Chief Justice of India to take part in the selection committee meeting selection panel proved to be the decider.
Speaking to Sikri, who retires on March 6, said he was deeply distressed by attempts to link the nomination with the decision of the PMled selection committee. He said his consent for the tribunal post was taken in the first we-
JUSTICE A K SIKRI TO TOI
ek of December when petitions relating to divestment of Verma’s powers as CBI director were still pending.
“The SC judgment (on Verma being sent on leave) came in January first week and till the pronouncement of judgment, there was no way I would have known that I would one day be nominated by the Chief Justice of India to take part in the selection committee meeting on the desirability of Verma’s continuance as CBI director,” Sikri said.
High-level sources in the government said Sikri, in his letter withdrawing consent for the tribunal post, said he was pained to note that in some quarters, his nomination was being connected with developments over the past few days. Though there was no connection between the two, he would like to withdraw from consideration for the post, Sikri is believed to have written in his letter.
Incidentally, in May last year, Sikri had led the SC bench which had slashed the time for BJP to prove its majority in the Karnataka assembly from 15 days granted by the governor to just 48 hours, which effectively aborted the BJP’s attempts to garner a majority.
Explaining the nature of the tribunal appointment, Sikri told TOI, “By no stretch of imagination is the appointment to the Commonwealth Secretariat Tribunal, which was to adjudicate disputes between Commonwealth employees and the secretariat, a plum posting. It would have required my presence in London for two or three days in a year and I was not to be paid any remuneration for it, neither was I to be based in London. It is very painful to find people linking consent given in December with my sitting as the CJI’s nominee in the selection committee. That is why I have withdrawn my consent. I will be much better off doing arbitration in India after retirement than take up this insignificant tribunal post.”
Government sources said Sikri’s career reflected his impeccable integrity and the tribunal post was offered to him as it was Asia’s turn to nominate a member.
Sikri said, “I have already written to the secretary of department of justice withdrawing my consent. I am repenting why I gave consent for taking up this insignificant post. It is not like one is getting appointed to the International Court of Justice to term it as a ‘plum’ post.”