Justice Sikri was part of the three-member panel that decided to remove Alok Verma as CBI chief this month.

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government decided last month to nominate senior Supreme Court Judge A.K. Sikri to the vacant post of president/member in the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT).

The judge, second in seniority after Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, will join the CSAT after his retirement as Supreme Court judge on 6 March.

The members of the prestigious tribunal are appointed for a four-year term, which may be renewed for one more term.

On 8 January, Justice Sikri’s vote proved decisive in the ouster of the then CBI director Alok Verma over corruption charges, a decision that has drawn a lot of flak, including from those connected to the probe against Verma.

His vote was important since he was the third member of the high-level committee — apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leader of the single-largest party in opposition in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, both of whom had diametrically opposite views on Verma’s future in the CBI — asked to take the politically-sensitive decision by the Supreme Court.

Justice Sikri had the same view as the government at the meeting, where Kharge gave a strong dissent note.


Also Read: In siding with govt, Supreme Court has lot to answer on Alok Verma’s ouster as CBI chief


Decision taken at ‘highest levels’

The CSAT is the final arbiter of disputes between its 53 member-countries.

It has eight members, including the president, 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 or who are jurisconsults with at least 10 years’ experience”.

There is one vacancy in the tribunal currently and India hasn’t been a member of the CSAT for several years now. Terms of several existing members are also getting over in the next few months, sources said.

Sources in the Supreme Court told ThePrint that Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote to CJI Gogoi last month, apprising him of the External Affairs Ministry’s decision to nominate Justice Sikri to the coveted post and seeking his consent.

The decision to nominate Justice Sikri to the post was taken “at the highest levels”, the sources added.

It is learnt that CJI Gogoi replied to the government in the affirmative after checking with Justice Sikri.

Asked if the government had requested the CJI to nominate a judge or unilaterally chosen Justice Sikri, a source said, “The government was clear that it had him (Sikri) in mind when it wrote to the CJI. Maybe, somebody in the government had already taken his consent.”


Also Read: Alok Verma removed as CBI director by PM Modi-led committee


In May last year, Justice Sikri had led a Supreme Court bench that ordered an immediate floor test in Karnataka after the assembly election threw up a fractured mandate, cancelling the 15-day window given by the governor to the Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP, the single-largest party, had staked claim to form the government. However, later, unable to prove its majority, the day-old B.S. Yeddyurappa government resigned, paving the way for a Congress-JD(S) coalition to assume office.

Criticism over Verma removal

The decision of the three-member panel to oust Verma from his post has attracted criticism, with former Supreme Court judge A.K. Patnaik, who was appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the preliminary probe by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) into complaints against Verma, also questioning the same.

Talking to The Indian Express Saturday, Justice Patnaik had termed the decision of the Prime Minister-led selection committee “very, very hasty”.

Justice Patnaik had pointed out that “there was no evidence against Verma regarding corruption”.

“The entire enquiry was held on (CBI special director Rakesh) Asthana’s complaint. I have said in my report that none of the findings in the CVC’s report are mine,” the judge, who submitted his own report to the Supreme Court, said.

He had added, “Even if the Supreme Court said that the high-power committee must decide, the decision was very, very hasty. We are dealing with an institution here. They should have applied their mind thoroughly, especially as a Supreme Court judge was there. What the CVC says cannot be the final word.”


Also Read: Transfer based on frivolous allegations, says former CBI chief Alok Verma


 

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63 COMMENTS

    • Shame on such commentators who cast aspersions on such a distinguished jurist.Is it not a fact that present CJI is son of a former congress minister.Even then pm made him CJI.Some print and electronic media is indulging in yellow journalism

  1. The article is highly derogatory and insulting to Justice Sikri.It showed him in poor light as a corrupt judge.BY the article he has insulted humiliated Justice Sikri.Justice Sikri should file defamato case on the Media and its owners

    • Relax.
      He wont.
      To do so he will then have to contend and defend his failures since truth is a defence in a defamation suit:
      Not referring to Supreme Court appointed monitor of CVC itself is problematic potrayal of the judge vis a vis the Supreme Court pronouncement.
      Not even trying to read his finding or wanting to know his views before acting on CVC’s report – does not hold up his ability for complying with due process.
      And then being considered for a post before demitting office is as problematic.

    • This article is not derogatory, but surely intended to give out a message. This article is clearly written to create a perception of wrongdoing. The irony is, it is based on a perception based report of the CVC that a committee consisting this judge removed the former CBI chief. So, I don’t think the judge would mind if people have perceptions about what he did.

  2. If this report is correct, it is most unfortunate that the honourable chief justice of india, sent justice sikri as representative to HPC to decide the fate of shri Alok Verma as CBI director. Having known the intention of govt. of india, thro’ its letter to chief justice of india, recommending justice sikri for CSAT, he at first place should not have sent justice sikri, who went with govt. line in transferring Mr.Verma. Even justice sikri, if known previously about govt. recommended his name, should not have accepted to sit in HPC. This is really shocking and surprise.

  3. A stigma on Judiciary when judges so called Kaliyugi gods join hands with corrupt netas Babus going to their residence do executive/ admin.job or otherwise .All highly unconstitutional Grand Corruption bribery LootSINS
    Time for Supreme Court to ban all judges not to do any executive,l/ admin. Jobs other we use no one left for judicial scrutiny of executive misdeeds,/ sins. Above all, no judge will be for any post retirement posts.
    No retired person to be engaged as snakepit of Corruption nepotism favouritism abuse of power discretion bias.

  4. Every human being wants to cheery pick the low hanging fruits.Justice Sikri was one of them. He used the opportunity to gain faith of Modi and company by ousting Alok Verma without hearing the later’s version, being aware that this is against the principle of Natural justice. No matter how upright the man is… he is bound to bow to the hegemony of the day.

  5. May be the Govt should have consulted Mr Shekhar Gupta or someone from the Wire before taking the decision. Mr Shekhar Gupta is no ordinary person. He has two Padma Awards under his belt and is also an expert on cricket!!!

    • Always such journalist bright shame to journalism.He was openly seen arranging chairs for so called saver of democracy.Print and wire news portal have been indulging in yellow journalism

  6. It is to his credit that Narendra Modi is running the central govt. with the ease and with the iron hand he ran the Guj govt. for 15 yrs w/o any accountability.Question is can he be allowed to repeat it for next 15 yrs in the center too ?

  7. This is called deplorable journalism. A Judge whose career has been distinguished with highest levels of impeccability and honour, is being suggested to have taken a decision to get a favour.

    So what should Government have done? Waste an intelligent person who can serve Indian interests? All to prove he did not pass adverse judgment against Verma for any favours? What kind of nonsensical journalism this is?

    • The fundamental credo of integrity in public life is not only one should be honest, one should be clearly seen to be honest. By accepting the offer from the Government, the judge erred. It may or may not have been not be a case of quid pro quo, but the judge certainly made the whole affair muddy.

  8. Justices Sikri and Bhushan are still sitting on the DelhiGovtVsCentre case. The last arguments were heard on Nov 2, 2018. It is already two and a half months.

    The more the judgement is delayed the more the Central govt – the BJP right now, benefits, and the State – the AAP right now, loses out because the status quo is upheld while the judges deliberate the case.

    In this case the status quo is that the LG, elected by the BJP is in charge of IAS Officers who are in charge of funds for State govt projects, and who cannot be transferred by the State govt.

    And who knows how long it will be before #AlokVerma’s appointment will officially come into effect – after his term finishes?

  9. Referring to the creation of acrimony by those opposed to removal of Alok Verma, it gives an unfortunate impression that some kind of paranoid hysteria has seized the opposition…And particularly the inimical elements in the Congress Party. …One can understand the attitude of the sympathisers of Alok Varma and their extreme resentment to removal of Verma from CBI …but to expect an intellectual like Patnaik (who is the ex SC Judge) who termed it ” very very hasty”-that is disappointing !
    He is functus officio and should have refrained.
    It behoves these detractors of the SC Judgment on Rafael, and SC Order to refer the matter to the Committee to decide what to do with Verma. SC gave no directions to the Committee to conduct a hearing or to apply rules of natural of justice. It was entirely an internal matter for the Committee.
    These devious arguments and flak are manufactured at the obvious behest of the Congress Party. In UK it would not be allowed to descend down to such murky level !!
    It is so sad that in India some unruly intellectuals (?) should be so disrespectful to the judgments and Orders of the Supreme Court in such an oblique and dastardly fashion! Very sad indeed !!

  10. Maybe Justice Sikri have acted judiciously while removing CBI director , but the timing of his appointment to the London based office by the Modi government appears to be a quid pro quo

  11. All comments posted condemning Sikri should note that the decision to send him to London was taken last month whereas the matter of Verma was taken this week

  12. The decision being taken in a hot haste definitely smells rat.Now justice sikri is expected to act so that the institutional integrety as well as his personal integrety are n’t compromised : otherwise it will bring monumental damage to the higher judiciary.

  13. If justice Sikri’s decision turns out to be a hasty one, the responsibility for the fiasco will lie with CJI Ranjan Gogoi. Justice Sikri was at no stage involved with the case, and he was deputed by the CJI only at the last minute because apparently the CJI was unwell. Even the main decision to reinstate Alok Verma was read out by Justice Kaul because the CJI was absent for health reasons. But this London posting thing gives a queer angle to the whole thing.

    CJI can reopen the Rafale case and that will quieten down all speculations which are presently showing the SC in a poor light.

  14. Your agenda is to dega me Modi. Par naik is angel bcoz he speaks agnst Modi. Sikri is bad bcoz he supports Modi. Which post Dipak Misra got ,? You sucked his blood

  15. CJI who was aware of CSAT nominee still he delegated him.If the story is true,person who delegated power is equally accountable.
    It seems they r seeking pardon on their past deeds.

  16. While you suggest a quid pro quo, you are also equivocating when you give the Karnataka example to ‘balance’ your view. Why don’t you take a clear stance?

  17. Justice Katju claims after several unsuccessful attempts, to have spoken to Justice Sikri and ascertained that this report is incorrect. How so remains unclear since Katju has reserved the full story for his Facebook page tomorrow.

  18. The judges appointment to London was done last month.Committee to decide Alok formed this month. Foretelling,? What shameful journalism?

  19. This is really shameful. The judges are for sale. Sikri has brought shame to the entire judiciary for personal gain. Crores of cases r pending pending in the court but the case of CBI chief was decided in a great hurry. God save this country.

  20. It’s strange to pick something or suspect in every thing. One simple question. Would you, an ordinary citizen, with little or no public face, sell yourself for the benefit of an appointment. Sadly, it doesn’t happen like that. If you are not ‘bikau'( available for ‘sale’), how do you expect some one else to be unlike you?

  21. It’s an insult of SC by The Print which goes on running down the Modi govt for personal agenda. If CVC had found certain disturbing matters then it was correct on their part. The list includes Nirav Modi, Lalu and so on.

    Anyway Pappu supporters, one thing is for sure that Pappu will never come back and India will remain in safe hands with Modi.

  22. Dear print you have done a disrespectful journalism. This Justice was bound by the CVC report. He didn’t accuse Alok, rather shifted him out of CBI with equal pay and position, so that further inquiry can be done. Justice Sikri cannot be bought and there are many who can vouch for that. He has to go with the CVC evidence else it will set a bad precedence. He was not rewarded for this. His name was proposed last December. We lost a great chance of him taking that post. I presume, that you are happy that now, few hours back he declined to be in that post, to which he is in every manner worthy.

  23. The level of ignorance on this portal is beyond belief. Justice Sikri’s appointment was decided last month. The decision by the panel about Mr. Verma was taken in January, 2019. The most important point it was Justice Gogoi who was part of the panel recused himself as he decided the matter in SC and was interested party. Justice Gogoi (and not PM) appointed Justice Sikri. Also, the whole point being made about Mr. Kharge’s dissent view, please note that Mr. Kharge voted against the appointment of Mr. Verma also. There is no method to madness – the rule is that because you represent opposition vote against the resolution.

  24. In The Week in a signed article , Justice Markandey Katju ,who spoke to Justice Sikri and Justice Pattnaik , has rubbished the report about latter’s statement . Justice Pattnaik was spoken to by Seema Chishti of Indian Express for a minute only and didn’t say all the things she has reported and this article is based on. Do you believe CJI was forced to depute Sikri J. for meeting ? What a low level of journalism , Mr Gupta ! Your hostility towards BJP has sunk your conscience to the lowest depth .

  25. Corruption eradicated as everything is cloudy , it was felt on SC judgement that something amiss. Can it be all premanaged?. Certainly a person may not dislike to have plump post. Really it is felt that Alok verma might be fighting against corruption, but person himself is said to be removed for corruption as media said it to be. It is shocking.

  26. Stopping too low in journalism..The Print…At what cost…firstly accusing Modi of curbing institutional liberty..Now misusing media liberty to tarnish judiciary…whats the tearing hurry, urgency to lose all ethics and morality in the process to remove modi from power..

    • Why are you people so afraid of debate and discussion. Come on have courage to speak and let some newspapers speak their mind when everyone else Is parroting what government propaganda. As Washington posts says “democracy dies in darkness”. We need checks and balance in debate and let government prove it wrong. Government isnt a Monarchy and indians are not subjects of a His Majesty and Ji Huzoori. I welcome Print’s balls to speak their voice. Be a real indian that speaks for freedom not mental bondage man. Be a man and rise up from being a pigeon.

  27. Well if this is the way you are going to run a country count soon enough on more uprests and an ultimate dissolution of faith in justice and even constitution. Thats the end of India idea. Corruption doesnt Always take financial form when it can happen through use of power and position. When people see, as now, that the highest seat is compromised along with judiciary who is a worser enemy the British Raj or the Indian Raj?

  28. Didn’t expected such blame game from Print that also without any proof. You blame government for maligning the institution and individual. I see no difference with theprint now. There should be some ethics followed by you guys.

  29. An absolutely prejudiced article, with clear political motives. An attempt to create a narrative based on conjectutes rather than fact. Absolutely poor journalistic dtanfards.

  30. Sekhar Gupta should now apologise and quit journalism like Justice Sikri declined a lucrative prestigious post in London due to irresponsible journalism by ” The Print”. This is the least he should do.

  31. Legal action should be iniated against the blogger and publisher of nwes portal for peddling grave lies to please their pilitical masters.

  32. Swarajyamag (https://swarajyamag.com/politics/why-the-insinuations-against-justice-sikri-can-amount-to-contempt-of-court)

    In DC Saxena v. Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, (MANU/SC/0627/1996) the Supreme Court at paragraph 40 held the following on contempt by imputations against a judge – “… imputing partiality, corruption, bias, improper motives to a judge is scandalisation of the court and would be contempt of the court. Even imputation of lack of impartiality or fairness to a judge in the discharge of his official duties amounts to contempt. The gravamen of the offence is that of lowering his dignity or authority or an affront to the majesty of justice. When the contemnor challenges the authority of the court, he interferes with the performance of duties of judge’s office or judicial process or administration of justice or generation or production of tendency bringing the judge or judiciary into contempt.”

    To hyperactive, ethics-preaching journalists, it is trite to rely on the following advice of the Supreme Court – “All we would ask is that those who criticise us will remember that, from the nature of our office, we cannot reply to their criticisms. We cannot enter into public controversy. Still less into political controversy. We must rely on our conduct itself to be its own vindication.” (J R Parashar v. Prashant Bhushan, MANU/SC/0493/2001 at paragraph 18).

    Justice Sikri was no less performing a duty brought to him by dint of holding the office of a Supreme Court Judge. His duty at the High Powered Committee was a judicial duty prescribed by the DSPE Act. In light of this, all unscrupulous, demeaning insinuations against him qualify for contempt.

  33. It is out & out a nonsense reporting…The Narendra Modi government decided to nominate senior Supreme Court Judge A.K. Sikri to the vacant post of president/member in the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT) in November , 2018 when it was not known that he would be nominated by CJI for the instant case. Moreover, he has already turned down that nomination to keep all controversy at bay. Above all, in last five cases Justice A.K. Sikri opined against the NDA Govt..However, None from NDA ever questioned his integrity. Judiciary as long as serving the opposition is right but when it goes against it is fixed? What an irresponsible journalism ! Shame on your ethics of Journalism.

  34. The author is seeking cheap publicity be sensationalizing the posting aspect (the headline). And he is fucking moron because this posting is not ‘plum’ at all.

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