Justice AK Sikri turns down govt offer

Justice AK Sikri turns down govt offer
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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

New Delhi: Justice A.K. 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.

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Sources close to the second senior-most judge after the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said that the consent was withdrawn on Sunday evening when the judge wrote to the Law Ministry, seeking withdrawal of his consent.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

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

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

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