The union government has appointed Justice Ravi Shankar Jha as the Acting Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court though the Supreme Court collegium had recommended the elevation of Justice Akil Kureshi as Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in May.
The centre has chosen to keep the Supreme Court Collegium’s recommendation to elevate Justice Kureshi pending.
The development comes just days after Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad stated that his ministry would no longer act as “a post office”.
A Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had recommended on May 10, that Justice Akil A Kureshi, who is currently the most senior judge in the Gujarat High Court, be appointed as Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
However, the government notified that under the powers conferred by Article 223 of the Constitution of India, the President has appointed Justice Ravi Shanker Jha, who is the most senior judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, as the Acting Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
Justice Jha is expected to begin performing his duties as the Acting Chief Justice of that High Court with effect from June 10, after the retirement of Justice Sanjay Kumar Seth, who is presently Chief Justice, Madhya Pradesh High Court.
Earlier, in November 2018, the transfer of Justice Kureshi to the Bombay High Court had created a stir in Gujarat High Court after members of the bar observed a strike protesting against his transfer.
A resolution was also passed by The Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association which stated that the association believed that “such a transfer is unjustified and certainly has no connection with better administration of justice” and that it “impinges upon the independence of the judiciary”.