In suppression of the notification issued yesterday appointing Justice AS Dave as the Acting Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court, the Centre today notified the appointment of senior-most judge of the high court, Justice Akil Kureshi as the Acting Chief Justice.
The office of the Chief Justice of the High Court fell vacant consequent to the elevation of Justice Subhash Reddy to the Supreme Court. However, what ensued is confusion and protests.
Justice Dave, who is currently the second senior most judge of the Gujarat High Court, was appointed to take over as Acting Chief Justice of the High Court yesterday. Another notification issued the same day transferred Justice Kureshi to the Bombay High Court, expecting him to take charge “on or before November 15”.
The transfer notification was followed by the Gujarat High Court Advocates Association unanimously resolving to go on indefinite strike to protest against the proposed transfer.
The unanimous Resolution terms the transfer recommendation “unwarranted, uncalled for and unjust” and states that the Bar “fails to discern any good reason for the same and believes that such transfer is unjustified and certainly has no connection with better administration of justice”.
Senior Advocate and President of the Gujarat High Court Advocates Association Yatin Oza then claimed that the collegium actually intended for Justice Kureshi to serve as the Acting Chief Justice of the High Court, and that hence, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has written to the Centre requesting issuance of a fresh notification as soon as possible.
Justice Kureshi joined the Bar in July, 1983 and acted as the Additional Central Government Standing Counsel from March, 1992 to March, 1998. He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the High Court of Gujarat and took charge in March, 2004. He was confirmed as a Permanent Judges in August, 2005.