A day after Justice AK Sikri turned down a post-retirement job offer, a report suggests the Supreme Court judge did not want to be part of the three-member selection panel that decided to remove Alok Verma from the post of CBI director. Sources close to Justice Sikri told NDTV that he had conveyed his reluctance to the two other members of the high-powered committee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader and opposition's representative Mallikarjun Kharge. "In future, no judge would like to be part of this process of appointment. All judges will recuse themselves from this process," NDTV quoted sources as saying.
On Sunday, Justice Sikri withdrew his consent to a government offer to nominate him for president/member in the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT). Sources close to the second senior-most judge after the Chief Justice of India told news agency PTI that the consent was withdrawn on Sunday evening when the judge wrote to the government. "The government had approached him for the assignment last month. He gave his consent. The job required attending two to three hearing per year and came without emoluments," the sources said.
The Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal was established and operates under a Statute agreed by Commonwealth governments in 1995. It was formed to meet the requirements of the Agreed Memorandum on the Commonwealth Secretariat (1964) which was revised by governments in 2005. The CSAT has a full complement of eight members comprising the President and seven other members. The members are selected by commonwealth governments on a regionally representative basis from among persons of high moral character who must hold or have held high judicial office in a Commonwealth country. The members are appointed on a four-year term which may be renewed only once.
Justice Sikri was part of the three-member panel along with Modi and Kharge which decided to remove Verma as of CBI chief. While Modi and Justice Sikri voted against Verma, Kharge filed a dissent note and contested the CVC report. He had also argued that Verma be given an opportunity to present his case before the selection committee. Verma was transferred as Director General, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards on Thursday. On Friday, Verma refused to take up the new job and resigned from the Indian Police Service (IPS).
Justice Sikri is set to retire from the Supreme Court on March 6.