The Centre’s Narendra Modi government has ignored the Supreme Court Collegium’s recommendation on elevating Justice AA Kureshi as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. Instead, it has decided to appoint Justice Ravi Shanker Jha for that post.
Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Justice Sanjay Kumar Seth, is retiring on 9 June and the state is now being governed by the Congress.
The Collegium had recommended Justice Kurishi’s name since he was the senior-most Judge from Gujarat High Court and at present is functioning, on transfer, in Bombay High Court. His transfer had caused a huge controversy in November last year. The Centre had abruptly transferred Justice Kureshi to the Bombay High Court just when he, as the then next senior most judge in the Gujarat High Court, was expected to become the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court since the post had fallen vacant because of the elevation of Justice Subhash Reddy to the Supreme Court.
The Collegium had said on 13 May, “Having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium is of the considered view that Mr. Justice A.A Kureshi is suitable in all respects for being appointed as Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.”
However, according to Indian Express, the Centre on Friday notified that under “the powers conferred by Article 223 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Justice Ravi Shanker Jha, seniormost judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, to perform the duties of the office of Chief Justice of that High Court with effect from 10 June, 2019 consequent upon the retirement of Justice Sanjay Kumar Seth, Chief Justice, Madhya Pradesh High Court.”