SC judge who voted against CBI chief de­clines C’wealth post

Deeply Dis­tressed By Re­ports Link­ing The Two: Sikri

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

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