SC to hear plea against delay in clearing Justice Kureshi’s name as CJ

The petition by Gujarat High Court Advocates Association highlighted that 18 other additional judges of different high courts have been appointed after May 10

Justice Akil A. Kureshi (file photo).
Justice Akil A. Kureshi (file photo).
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PTI

The Supreme Court on Monday decided to hear on July 22 a petition against the Centre's delay in clearing the name of Justice Akil A. Kureshi as the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta asked Gujarat High Court Advocates Association, which has filed the petition, to supply a copy of it to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for assisting in the matter.

The lawyers' body alleged that the Centre has cleared the appointment of Chief Justices of other high courts, the recommendation of which was made by the three-member apex court collegium before the summer vacation.

The Centre, however, did not clear the file for appointment of Justice Kureshi as the Chief Justice and on June 7 came out with a notification appointing Justice Ravi Shanker Jha as Acting Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court, it said.

Appointment of Justice Kureshi as Chief Justice in Madhya Pradesh High Court was recommended by the collegium on May 10 this year.

The collegium's resolution had stated: "Justice A.A. Kureshi is the senior-most Judge from Gujarat High Court and at present is functioning, on transfer, in Bombay High Court.

"Having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium is of the considered view that Justice A.A. Kureshi is suitable in all respects for being appointed as Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The Collegium resolves to recommend accordingly." The GHCAA has sought a direction to the Centre to implement the Collegium's resolution.

The petition highlighted that 18 other additional judges of different High Courts have been appointed after May 10.

The association contended that the reluctance of the Centre to appoint Justice Kureshi as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh is against the procedure laid down in the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) and amounts to violation of Articles 14 and 217 of the Constitution.

The lawyers body said the inaction on the part of the Centre is an attack on the independence of the judiciary and diminishes the primacy of the judiciary in the matters of appointment and transfer of judges to the High Courts and the Supreme Court.

GHCAA President Yatin Oza had reportedly said that Justice Kureshi was being singled out for an order passed by him in 2010, remanding current Union Home Minister Amit Shah to police custody.

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