After months of uncertainty, the central government has finally cleared the Supreme Court Collegium’s proposal to elevate Justice Akil Abdulhamid Kureshi as the chief justice of the Tripura High Court, reported ANI.
The file is now pending before the president, who has to sign the warrant of appointment.
The Supreme Court collegium had earlier recommended him to be the chief of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The reasons for the modification were not cited in the Collegium resolution.
Elevation Mired in Controversy
This elevation has been the centre of a controversy since last year.
Justice Kureshi was the senior most judge of the Gujarat High Court when Justice Subhash Reddy was elevated to the Supreme Court. Justice AS Dave, who is not as senior as Kureshi is, was about to be appointed as Acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court.
Around the same time, Justice Kureshi was transferred to the Bombay High Court. He then served as Acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court for a while before stepping into his role at the Bombay High Court.
It was only in May 2019 that the Collegium recommended his elevation as Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
However, when the Centre issued twelve notifications ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, clearing appointments of judges to high courts and the Supreme Court, there was no mention of him.
Moreover, on 7 June, the Centre notified the appointment of Justice Ravi Shanker Jha as Acting Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court, but Kureshi’s appointment didn’t factor into the notification.
The Gujarat High Court Advocates' Association (GHCAA) then approached the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court will hear the case on the issues related to implementation of the decision of the top court collegium by the Centre on 13 November.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna said a two-member bench headed by the outgoing Chief Justice of India will also comprise of chief justice-designate Justice SA Bobde.
‘Administrative formalities’ are pending in order to to implement the Collegium's decision, the court had ordered.
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