‘Want it to Die’: Justice Sikri on Controversy Over CBI Vote and Govt's Retirement Offer
Controversy erupted on Sunday after the government had allegedly made an offer to Justice Sikri for the post-retirement assignment at the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT).
File photo of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice AK Sikri (L). (PTI)
New Delhi: A day after withdrawing his consent to a post-retirement offer by the Centre, Justice AK Sikri on Monday wished that the speculation surrounding his appointment to the PM-led high-power committee that removed CBI chief Alok Verma be put to rest.
"See I don't want the controversy to be dragged. I want it to die," Justice Sikri told PTI on the sidelines of a private function relating to the release of a book on the life of former Chief Justice of India Y K Sabharwal.
A controversy erupted on Sunday when it surfaced that government had made an “oral” offer to Justice Sikri in the last week of December for the post-retirement assignment at the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT).
The judge, scheduled to retire on March 6, 2019, heard nothing further from the government after that.
On January 8, Justice Sikri was nominated by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to take part in the meeting of the committee, which was chaired by PM Modi and also had opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge, to consider Alok Verma’s fate.
Justice Sikri’s vote proved decisive in removing Alok Verma from the CBI chief’s chair as opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge was the only member with a dissenting vote in the three-member panel.
The decision to remove Alok Verma came just a day after he returned as CBI Director on the basis of a Supreme Court judgment, which had found his “overnight” divestment from office by the Central Vigilance Commission and the government wrong.
On Moday, former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that Justice Sikri has been "unfairly targeted" by some political leaders and activist-lawyers.
"There is no connection between the two issues and people don't know the facts and circumstances under which the two things happened,” Rohatgi said.
Criticising some activist-lawyers who had used social media to allegedly "malign" the judge, Rohatgi said "such people only want publicity without knowing the facts about the person whom they are speaking."
"The issue was raised completely with mischievous intent to malign the judge. It is scandalous," he said.
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