High Court (India)

July 04, 2019

GHCAA Moves Supreme Court Seeking Direction To Centre To Appoint Justice Akil Kureshi Madhya Pradesh HC Chief Justice

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


The Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association (GHCAA) has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the central government to appoint Justice Akil A Kureshi as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court by implementing a resolution which the apex court’s collegium had passed on May 10.

The GHCAA petition has urged the Supreme Court to issue a direction to the central government to comply with Article 217 of the Constitution of India read with Paragraph 6 of the ‘Memorandum of Procedure’ and implement the Collegium recommendation of Supreme Court dated May 10, 2019 recommending appointment of Justice Akil Kureshi as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court.

The petition has also urged the Supreme Court to issue to the central government to comply with paragraphs 5 and 6 of the Memorandum of Procedure within a period of six weeks with respect to all future appointments of Chief Justices of various High Courts.

The GHCAA petition has stated that except the recommendation appointing Justice Akil Kureshi as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh, all other Supreme Court Collegium recommendations have been acted upon by the Centre.

The centre’s failure to appoint Justice Kureshi is tantamount to a refusal to follow the procedure laid down in the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), which violates Articles 14 and 217 of the Constitution, the petition has stated.

The petition has stated that the central government’s inaction is an attack on the independence of the judiciary which diminishes the primacy of the judiciary in the matters of appointment as well as transfer of judges to High Courts and the Supreme Court.

The only role ascribed to the centre as per the Second Judges Case and the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) as far as the appointment of the Chief Justice of the High Court is concerned, is to elicit the views of the state government with respect to the concerned judge, the petition has stated.

The Union Minister of Law can only convey the views of the state government to the Chief Justice of India and under no circumstances can the minister withhold advice to the President since this would amount to arbitrary action, the petition has stated.

Meanwhile, there are indications that the collegium is all set to “reiterate” its recommendation shortly, that Justice Kureshi be appointed as Madhya Pradesh High Court’s Chief Justice. The centre is supposed to comply as soon as the collegium does so.

There are also indications that Justice Kureshi is being considered for elevation to the Supreme Court, although this might take a year or so.

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