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Justice Sikri declines govt offer to nominate him to Commonwealth Tribunal

Justice Sikri was part of the three-member 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

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Justice Sikri's decision comes just three days after his vote helped decide the removal of Alok Verma as CBI director
Justice Sikri’s decision comes just three days after his vote helped decide the removal of Alok Verma as CBI director

Sunday withdrew his consent to a government offer to nominate him for president/member in the London-based (CSAT).

The government is understood to have recommended Justice Sikri's name for late last year.

Sikri's consent was "taken orally for a vacancy" in the Commonwealth tribunal, sources said.

Sources close to the second senior-most after the of told that the consent was withdrawn Sunday evening when the wrote to the Law Ministry, seeking withdrawal of his consent.

The insinuation linking the assignment with Justice Sikri's participation in the committee, which decided on the ouster of 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).

"is meant to decide service disputes between the employees of the and the Commonwealth Secretariat itself," sources close to Sikri said.

was part of the three-member panel along with and senior 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.

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 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.

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 said.

ALSO READ: CJI nominates Justice Sikri on panel to decide CBI Director Verma's fate

The source said "is a man of very simple nature" and he felt that there should not be any controversy over his appointment and that is why he wants to keep himself away from the controversy."

Hitting out at the government, senior said the Centre has a "lot of explaining to do" on the nomination of Sikri to CSAT.

"The Government has a lot of explaining to do (sic)," Patel said in a tweet tagging a media report.

sources said nomination of Sikri, who retires on March 6, was made last month following an internal process carried out by the

The External Affairs Ministry communicated to CSAT about India's nomination, the sources said.

There was no reaction from either the Ministry of External Affairs or the Ministry of Law and Justice on it.

The Commonwealth Secretariat, established in 1965, plays the role of an in case of disputes among its 53 member-countries.

The CSAT has a total of eight members, including its The members are picked up on the basis of regional representations. A CSAT member has a tenure of four years.

First Published: Sun, January 13 2019. 21:40 IST