Centre notifies appointment of Justice AS Dave as Acting Chief Justice of Gujarat HC [Read Notification]

Meera Emmanuel November 14 2018

The Central Government has officially notified that Justice AS Dave will be taking over as the Acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court, consequent upon the transfer of Acting Chief Justice AA Kureshi.

A notification issued to this effect today states,

"In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 223 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Anantkumar Surendraray Dave, senior pusine Judge of the Gujarat High Court, to perform the duties of the office of Chief Justice of that High Court with effect from the date Shri Justice Akil Abdulhamid Kureshi relinquishes charge of the office of the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court consequent upon his transfer as a Judge of the Bombay High court."

The office of Chief Justice to the Gujarat High Court had fallen vacant following the appointment of Justice Subhash Reddy as a judge of the Supreme Court earlier this month.

Justice AA Kureshi, the next senior-most judge of the Court was expected to be tasked with the duties of the Chief Justice thereafter. However, the abrupt transfer of Justice Kureshi to the Bombay High Court, coupled with a notification appointing Justice AS Dave, the senior most judge after Justice Kureshi,  as the Acting Chief Justice all on the same day, left many nonplussed.

It had been alleged that this was done to prevent Justice Kureshi from being the Acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court since he had passed adverse orders against leaders of ruling dispensation.

After the uproar that immediately followed among the members of the Gujarat Bar, the Central Government issued another notification shortly thereafter, intimating the appointment of Justice Kureshi as the Acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court until he takes up office at the Bombay High Court on or before November 15 (tomorrow).

It has been said that the Collegium had also intended for Justice Kureshi to assume charge as Acting Chief Justice prior to his transfer to Bombay. To correct the Centre’s hiccup, it is also said that the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, wrote to the government directing that the clarificatory notification be issued immediately.

More recently, President of Gujarat High Court Advocates Association (GHCAA), Yatin Oza also urged the members of the Gujarat Bar to call off their protest, following a constructive meeting he had with Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on November 11.

As a result, the Gujarat High Court has had Justice AA Kureshi as its Acting Chief Justice since the elevation of Justice Subhash Reddy to the Supreme Court. And as expected, Justice AS Dave will sit at its helm as the Acting Chief Justice next, in view of Justice Kureshi's transfer to the Bombay High Court as a puisne judge.

Read the Notification:

Appointment Order - Justice AS Dave - ACJ Gujarat HC - Nov 2018