35 days since Collegium reiteration, Centre yet to notify appointment of Justice Akil Kureshi as Chief Justice of Tripura HC

Murali Krishnan October 10 2019
akil kureshi

On September 5, 2019 the Supreme Court Collegium recommended the appointment of Justice Akil Kureshi as Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court.

Thirty-five days have passed since the resolution, but the Central government is yet to notify the same.

The appointment of Justice Akil Kureshi has been a constant source of controversy, with the Central government being accused of handing out a raw deal to the judge.

Justice Kureshi, a senior judge originally from the Gujarat High Court, is currently serving as a judge of the Bombay High Court following a transfer. By the resolution passed on September 5, the Supreme Court Collegium had recommended the elevation of Justice Kureshi as the Chief Justice of Tripura High Court, modifying its earlier proposal of May 10 to appoint him as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

The resolution passed by the Collegium on September 5 intimated that the Central government had returned the proposal to appoint Justice Kureshi to Madhya  Pradesh High Court twice. The two communications were received by the Collegium on August 23 and August 27 along with accompanying material. Taking into account the same, the Collegium had decided to modify its decision of May 10 and recommend that Justice Kureshi be appointed as Tripura High Court Chief Justice.

This development came in the wake of protests by the Gujarat High Court Advocates' Association (GHCAA) against the alleged efforts to stall Justice Kureshi's elevation. In this regard, the GHCAA also moved the Supreme Court, prompting the Apex Court to assure that the Collegium would take a call on the issue expeditiously.

However, the proposal issued thereafter by the Collegium had also raised controversy, with critics querying why the Collegium had decided to modify its proposal to appoint Justice Kureshi to helm the Tripura High Court, a smaller High Court in comparison to the High Court of Madhya Pradesh.

This modified proposal is also yet to go through.

Interestingly, the Central government has also not notified the appointment of Justice Sanjay Karol as Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court. Justice Karol is the current Chief Justice of Tripura High Court.

On August 28 this year, the Collegium had recommended that Justice Karol be appointed Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court. Unless the same is notified by the Central government, the appointment of Justice Kureshi as Chief Justice of Tripura High Court cannot take place.