On Gujarat judge’s elevation, SC Collegium changes reccomendation

New Delhi: Justice Akil Kureshi will not be appointed as the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court, said the Supreme Court Collegium on Friday weeks after the centre expressed reservation over top court’s recommendation. The panel has now recommended his transfer to the Tripura High Court as the Chief Justice.

The top court collegium on May 10 had recommended the elevation of Justice Akil Kureshi, who is the senior most judge in Gujrat High Court, as the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court. The centre, however, did not clear the appointment and on June 7 came out with a notification appointing Justice Ravi Shanker Jha as acting chief justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

On August 28, the top court said it had received a communication from the Ministry of Law and Justice on Justice Kureshi’s elevation.

In a resolution, which was uploaded on the Supreme Court website late on Friday night, the top court collegium said: “On reconsideration and after taking into account the aforesaid two communications dated 23rd August 2019 and 27th August 2019 and the accompanying material, the Collegium to reiterate its earlier recommendation dated May 10 with the modification that Mr Justice AA Kureshi be appointed as the Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court.”

The Madhya Pradesh High Court is one of the largest high courts in the country, while Tripura High Court is a much smaller court.

In a petition filed in the top court last month, the Gujarat High Court Advocates Association had called the centre’s inaction on Justice AA Kureshi’s elevation as “an attack on the independence of the judiciary”. The petition highlighted that top court collegium’s May 10 recommendation on the appointment of 18 other additional judges of different high courts was cleared by the centre.