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Will Take A Decision On Elevation Of Justice Kureshi Within A Week, Centre Tells SC

16 Aug 2019 5:47 AM GMT
Will Take A Decision On Elevation Of Justice Kureshi Within A Week, Centre Tells SC

The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Friday told the Supreme Court that the Centre will take a call on the SC Collegium's recommendation to elevate Justice Akil Kureshi as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court within a week.

On this, the bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S A Bobde and Abdul Nazeer adjourned the hearing of the petition filed by Gujarat High Court Advocates Association until next week.

On August 2, the Court had directed the Centre to take a decision on the matter by August 14, after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that the file was under Centre's consideration and sought for two weeks' time to respond.

Senior Advocate Fali S Nariman had appeared for the GHCAA then and submitted that Central Government has only the role of a 'distinguished communicator' as per the Memorandum of Procedure and Department of Justice is only to announce the appointment.

Senior Advocates Arvind P Datar, Yatin Oza, Mihir Thakore, Percy Kavina were also present in Court for the Association on that day.

The petition seeks to direct the Centre to notify the appointment of Justice Kureshi as CJ of MP HC immediately. The Centre's selective neglect of Justice Kureshi's file is sought to be highlighted in the petition by pointing out that it has cleared 18 files of judicial appointments after May 10. The Association alleges that the Centre was sleeping over the SC collegium's proposal to make Justice Kureshi the CJ of MP HC.

Justice Kureshi's proposal was made by the SC collegium on May 10 to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the former CJ of MP HC Justice S K Seth.

Although another proposal made by the Collegium on the same day - that of Justice D N Patel's appointment as Delhi High Court Chief Justice - was notified by the Centre within two weeks, Justice Kureshi's file has been kept pending. Meanwhile, Centre notified the appointment of Justice Ravi Shanker Jha as the Acting CJ of MP HC on June 7.

On June 25, the Association had passed a resolution approving the decision to approach SC through writ petition to challenge what it believes to be "purposeful holding back " of approval of Justice Kureshi's appointment.

The resolution came after Senior Advocate Yatin Oza, the President of the Association, informed the association members that the Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was not willing to meet a delegation of Gujarat lawyers to discuss the subject.

Justice Kureshi, a senior judge of the Gujarat High Court, was transferred to Bombay High Court last October, amidst protests from the GHCAA.

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