Verma row: Justice A K Sikri declines job offer

Verma row: Justice A K Sikri declines job offer

Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri. PTI file photo

Justice A K Sikri, the senior-most Supreme Court judge after the Chief Justice of India, on Sunday withdrew his consent for appointment as a member of the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT), amid a controversy over his decision, as a member of a selection panel headed by the prime minister, to remove CBI director Alok Verma.

On hint of a possible conflict of interest after media reports over his appointment, Justice Sikri decided to opt out of his nomination.

Sources close to Justice Sikri said he has withdrawn his oral consent given in the first week of December. They said he would not accept any post-retirement job.

Justice Sikri is set to demit office as the judge of the Supreme Court on March 6.

Notably, Justice Sikri was nominated by the CJI to participate in the high-powered selection panel headed by the prime minister, which had removed Alok Verma as the CBI director, though senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, as the Leader of Opposition on the panel, gave his dissent note.

The decision was questioned for having been taken in a hasty manner without giving Verma an opportunity to counter the CVC inquiry report which reportedly indicted him on certain charges against him, following his feud with special director Rakesh Asthana.

The top court had on January 8 reinstated Verma as the CBI director but allowed the high-powered panel to take a call on his fate in view of the CVC inquiry report. Verma on Friday resigned after his transfer as the director general of Fire Service by the panel.