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CJI office has received communication on Justice Akil Kureshi's elevation: SC

CJI office has received communication on Justice Akil Kureshi's elevation: SC

(Eds: Adding details from order and background) New Delhi, Aug 28 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it had received a communication from the Ministry of Law and Justice on the Collegium's recommendation elevating Justice Akil Kureshi as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that his office had received a communication from the ministry and it would be placed before the Collegium to take a call on it."A communication has been received by the office of the Chief Justice of India, on the administrative side, from the Department of Justice. The same will be put up before the Collegium in due course. Matter be listed once the decision of the Collegium is taken on the basis of the response/communication of the Department of Justice," the bench also comprising Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer said.The top court was hearing a petition filed by the Gujarat High Court Advocates Association (GHCAA) seeking direction to the Centre to notify the elevation of Justice Kureshi.On August 16, the Centre had told the apex court that it would take a call within a week on the Collegium's May 10 recommendation on elevation of Justice Akil Kureshi as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court. On August 2, the top court had asked the Centre to take a decision in the matter by August 14 after Mehta had informed the bench that the collegium proposal was under consideration.The lawyers' body alleged that the Centre has cleared the appointment of chief justices of other high courts.The plea had said that Justice Kureshi's name has not been notified by the Centre even after the collegium recommended his name on May 10. The Centre, however, did not clear the file for appointment of Justice Kureshi and on June 7 came out with a notification appointing Justice Ravi Shanker Jha as acting chief justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, it said. Appointment of Justice Kureshi as chief justice of the Madhya Pradesh high court was recommended by the collegium on May 10 this year. The collegium's resolution had stated, "Justice A A Kureshi is the senior-most judge from the Gujarat high court and at present is functioning, on transfer, in the Bombay high court. "Having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium is of the considered view that Justice A A Kureshi is suitable in all respects for being appointed as Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh high court. The Collegium resolves to recommend accordingly." The GHCAA has sought a direction to the Centre to implement the collegium's resolution. The petition highlighted that 18 other additional judges of different high courts have been appointed after May 10. The association contended that the reluctance of the Centre to appoint Justice Kureshi as chief justice of the Madhya Pradesh HC is against the procedure laid down in the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) and amounts to a violation of Articles 14 and 217 of the Constitution. The lawyers' body said the inaction on the part of the Centre is an attack on the independence of the judiciary and diminishes the primacy of the judiciary in the matters of appointment and transfer of judges to the high courts and the Supreme Court. GHCAA president Yatin Oza had reportedly said that Justice Kureshi was being singled out for an order passed by him in 2010, remanding current Union home minister Amit Shah in police custody. PTI MNL ABA SJK RKS AAR