Supreme Court to hear plea on Akil Kureshi
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear on Friday an appeal of the Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association seeking a directive to the Centre to implement the collegium’s decision to elevate Justice Akil Kureshi, a Bombay High Court judge, as Chief Justice of Tripura High Court.
The collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, had on May 10 recommended Justice Kureshi’s elevation as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court.
But acting on a communication received from the Centre, it amended its decision on September 5 and recommended him for Tripura High Court instead. The Centre is now sitting on that file.
The petition points out that the Centre did not clear the file for Justice Kureshi’s appointment and instead on June 7 issued a notification appointing Justice Ravi Shanker Jha as acting chief justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court.
The Centre’s reluctance to appoint Justice Kureshi as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court is against the Memorandum of Procedure and amounts to a violation of Articles 14 and 217 of the Constitution, it said.
The Centre’s inaction on the collegium’s recommendation is an attack on the independence of the judiciary and diminishes the primacy of the judiciary in matters of appointment and transfer of judges to the high courts and the Supreme Court, the petition argued.
“We will take it up on Friday,” the bench of Chief Justice Gogoi and Justices S.A. Bobde and S.A. Nazeer said.
Association president Yatin Oza has in the past been quoted as saying Justice Kureshi was being singled out because he had in 2010 as a judge of Gujarat High Court issued an order remanding Amit Shah, who is now Union home minister, in police custody.
The appointment and transfer of judges form “the root of the administration of justice” and interference in that “does not augur well” for the institution, the apex court bench had said when the advocates’ association alleged that the collegium’s recommendations were not being implemented by the government.
The association, in its plea, has sought a direction to the Centre to implement the Supreme Court collegium’s recommendations on elevation and transfer of Justice Kureshi.