Decide by August 14, Supreme Court tells Centre on Justice Kureshi elevation

The Supreme Court told the Centre on Friday to take a call on the elevation of Justice Akil A Kureshi’s appointment as Madhya Pradesh high court chief justice by August 14.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, which is hearing a petition about the delay in the appointment of Justice Kureshi, was told by the Centre that the government would need more time to arrive at a decision on elevating Gujarat High Court’s senior-most judge.

The Supreme Court’s collegium, which comprises three senior-most judges of the top court, on May 10 recommended names of four judges for appointment as high court chief justices. The names included that of Kureshi who was recommended as chief justice of the Madhya Pradesh high court.

But in its petition, the Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association pointed out that that the government had notified other appointments except the one relating to Justice Kureshi.

When the case came up for hearing last month, the Centre had asked for two weeks to finalise its stand.

On Friday, the Centre’s lawyer told the court that the government would need 10 more days from the last day of Parliament’s Budget session.

The budget session was recently extended till 7 August.

The Chief Justice responded to the request, saying it expected the government to come back to the court with a concrete decision on August 14.

To the Centre’s assertion that it would convey its decision to the collegium, the Chief Justice quipped that the collegium (which is also headed by the CJI on the administrative side) would place it before the court on the judicial side.