Supreme Court judge AK Sikri, who has been recommended by the government as India's nominee for president/member in the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT), withdrew his consent to the government offer on Sunday.
According to official sources, the government's decision to nominate Sikri, who retired on March 6, was made last month following an internal process carried out by the Law Ministry.
Sources close to the second senior-most judge after the Chief Justice of India told PTI that the consent was withdrawn Sunday evening when the judge wrote to the government.
"The government had approached him for the assignment last month. He gave his consent. The job required attending two to three hearing per year and came without emoluments," the sources said.
Justice Sikri, the second senior-most judge in the apex court after Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, was part of the three-member panel along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior Congress leader Mallikajurn Kharge which decided on removal of Alok Verma from the post of CBI Director.
Sikri's vote proved crucial to remove Verma from his post as Kharge opposed the move strongly while the government was pushing for Verma's sacking. Justice Sikri supported the government.
The External Affairs Ministry communicated to CSAT about India's nomination, the sources said.
There was no reaction from either the Ministry of External Affairs or the Ministry of Law and Justice on it.
The Commonwealth Secretariat, established in 1965, plays the role of an arbiter in case of disputes among its 53 member-countries.
The CSAT has a total of eight members, including its president. The members are picked up on the basis of regional representations.
A CSAT member has a tenure of four years.
(With PTI inputs)