The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Central government to resolve the conflict related to the Collegium recommendation on the appointment of Justice Akil Khureshi.
A bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to conclude on its decision whatever it may be by 14 August. The hearing was based on a petition filed by the Gujarat High Court Advocates Association.
On May 10 Justice Akil Abdulhamid Kureshi who is presently a Judge in Bombay High Court was to be elevated as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court as per the collegium’s recommendation. He was also previously appointed as the judge of Gujarat High Court in 2004.
A day before the general elections the centre issued twelve notifications clearing the appointment of various judges to the High Courts and the Supreme Court but there was no notification clearing the name of Justice Akil Khureshi.
The controversy was further aggravated on June 7 when the Centre notified the appointment of Shankar Jha as the acting Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court thereby ignoring the collegiums recommendation altogether. The bar association first went on a strike and later decided to move the court against it.
The petition alleged that only the appointment of Justice Khureshi had been singled out while the other recommendations were followed through. The arbitrary inaction by the Centre was violative of article 14 and 217 of the constitution and undermining the procedure laid down by the Second Judges case.
“The deliberate inaction of the respondent [Centre] in not appointing Mr Justice Akil Kureshi as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court impinges and diminishes the primacy of the judiciary in the matters of appointment and transfer of judges to High Court and Supreme Court,” the petition filed by the association through its president and senior advocate Yatin Oza submitted.