Seeks two weeks to decide on collegium recommendation on his elevation
The Union government on Monday sought from the Supreme Court two weeks to decide on the collegium recommendation to appoint Bombay High Court’s Justice Akil Kureshi as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta submitted before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi that the file was still under consideration and sought a fortnight more.
The court decided to hear the case on August 2 even as senior advocate Fali Nariman, for the Gujarat High Court Advocates Association, said the government should act as a “distinguished communicator” and could not resort to what seemed “deliberate inaction” in a recommendation made by the Supreme Court Collegium as way back as May 10. The Centre should clarify whether it had sought any feedback from the Madhya Pradesh government. The association alleged that Justice Kureshi’s elevation was singled out for uncertainty while those of other judges recommended along with him had sailed through. “The deliberate inaction of the respondent [Centre] in not appointing Mr. Justice Akil Kureshi as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court impinges and diminishes the primacy of the judiciary in the matters of appointment and transfer of judges to the High Court and the Supreme Court,” the petition filed by the association through its president and senior advocate Yatin Oza submitted. The association said 18 other additional judges of different High Courts had been appointed since May 10, but the government had kept its decision on Justice Kureshi pending inexplicably. In June, the government appointed Justice Ravi Shanker Jha as the Acting Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court even as it gave no word on Justice Kureshi. The association described Justice Kureshi as a judge who commanded “tremendous admiration and respect”.