NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that a decision regarding Justice Akil Kureshi’s elevation as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court is still under consideration and sought some more time.
The government was responding to a plea filed by the Gujarat High Court Advocates Association, which had alleged executive overreach in the government delaying Justice Kureshi’s appointment even after the SC collegium had cleared it in May.
During a brief hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said Justice Kureshi’s elevation is still under consideration and that another two weeks was needed to receive standing instructions about it from the Centre. The case will now be heard on August 2.
Senior advocate Fali S. Nariman, appearing for the association said that he was not against the Centre seeking more time but wanted the government to clearly state whether it has sought the opinion of the Gujarat government in the matter as per the Memorandum of Procedure. He also argued that the Centre does not have the last word on judicial appointments.
SC collegium on May 10 had recommended the elvation of Justice Kureshi, the then senior-most judge of the Gujarat HC, as the chief justice of the Madhya Pradesh HC. In June, however, the Modi government appointed Justice Ravi Shankar Jha as the acting chief justice of the HC even as it kept the collegium’s recommendation pending.