Justice Sikri withdraws 'consent' to take up Commonwealth post
India

Justice Sikri withdraws ‘consent’ to take up Commonwealth post

New Delhi: After controversy erupted, Supreme Court judge A.K. Sikri, who last week sided with the government in the three-member committee to remove CBI Director Alok Verma, on Sunday withdrew his “consent” to be nominated to the post of President/Member of the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT).

Sources close to the judge said that Sikri communicated to the government on Sunday expressing his withdrawal of consent after news broke out over his nomination to the post.

They said that the judge was asked by the government in December about his inclination to hold the post. He had then agreed.

As there was “no word of communication” from the government till the news broke out about his nomination, Sikri told the government on Sunday evening that he was withdrawing his earlier consent, the sources said.

Sikri was part of the Selection Committee including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge that on Thursday decided 2:1 to remove CBI chief Verma from the post. Kharge gave a dissent note and opposed Verma’s ouster.

The CSAT was established to meet the requirements of the Agreed Memorandum on the Commonwealth Secretariat (1964) which was revised by governments in 2005.

In fulfilment of its obligations under the Agreed Memorandum, the UK government passed the Commonwealth Secretariat Act 1966 which, among other things, gives the Commonwealth Secretariat legal personality and accords it certain immunities and privileges.

The CSAT has a full complement of eight members comprising the President and seven others.

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.

Born on March 7, 1954, Sikri was sworn in as a Supreme Court judge on April 12, 2013. He earlier served as the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

–IANS

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