After CJI Gogoi, Justice Sikri recuses from himself from interim CBI chief’s case
Justice AK Sikri on Thursday recused himself from hearing a plea challenging the appointment of M Nageshwar Rao as the interim CBI chief. The matter came to a bench headed by Sikri after Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi withdrew from hearing the petition on Monday. The matter will now be heard by a different bench on Friday.
“Since I’m recusing, I can’t hear…please understand my position” Justice Sikri told senior advocate Dushyant Dave, senior advocate appearing for the petitioners – NGO Common Cause and RTI Activist Anjali Bhardwaj.
Justice Sikri was part of the High Powered Committee which took the decision to remove Alok Verma as CBI Director, two days after he was directed to be reinstated by the SC. Then the Government appointed Nageswara Rao as interim Director.
In a 2-1 decision, the selection committee voted to remove Verma over “extremely serious nature of observations made by the CVC against him”. The lone dissenter was Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha. Justice Sikri had been nominated by the CJI to participate in that meeting of the committee because the latter had been on the bench that reinstated Verma, setting aside the Centre’s order of sending him on forced leave.
Justice Sikri had got entangled in controversy, after news emerged that he was being nominated by the Centre to the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitration Tribunal at London, after his retirement in coming March. Since the news broke immediately after the Committee meeting of January 10, it led to a lot of speculations. Following this, Justice Sikri announced revocation of his consent to be nominated to CSAT.
Inputs: Live Law