Justice AK Sikri, Part of 3-Member Panel Which Removed CBI Chief Alok Verma, Turns Down Govt's Post-Retirement Offer
File image of Justice AK Sikri | (Photo Credits: PTI)

New Delhi, January 13: Justice AK Sikri, the second-most senior judge of the Supreme Court, has turned down a post-retirement posting offered to him by the government nearly a month ago. Reports on Sunday claimed that he has written to the Law Ministry, formally conveying his decision of turning down the part-time assignment.

The Centre, in the last month, had approached Justice Sikri to serve as a member of the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT) after he retires on March 6, 2019. The Tribunal, based in London, convenes on selected occasions in the year to her commercial disputes between the Commonwealth nations. Alok Verma Removed as CBI Director: Know What Happened at PM Modi-Led Selection Committee’s Meeting.

A section of activists, along with leaders of the Congress, expressed fears of quid pro quo when Justice Sikri, who was part of the three-member panel which decided the fate of embattled CBI director Alok Verma, sided with the Prime Minister.

Justice Sikri was nominated to the panel after Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi recused himself from Verma's case. Since the CJI had ruled on a petition which challenged Verma's midnight ouster on October 23, he found it inappropriate be part of the selection committee in this case. Instead, he nominated Justice Sikri to represent him.

At the selection panel meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Justice Sikri agreed to transfer Verma to the Fire Services department, whereas, Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge voted in favour of letting him continue at the CBI's helm. With a 2:1 decision, the panel ordered his removal as the CBI chief.

Verma, after being assigned the new charge of DG, Fire Service, refused to accept the same. In a statement issued to the media, the embattled bureaucrat said steps are being taken to "weaken the CBI".