Centre's bid to prevent Kureshi become a SC judge

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 4/9/2021 12:51:05 AM

NEW DELHI, Apr 8: The central government stooped down to plant reports in the newspapers against a meeting of the Supreme Court collegium convened by Chief Justice of India Sharad Bobde on Thursday, claiming the convention that he can't preside over any such meeting since after appointment of Justice N V Ramana on April as his successor from April 24 on his retirement.
Even hints were dropped that the recommendations of such a collegium meeting will be rejected by the government. It could not be ascertained if the collegium met and what were its recommendations. It was supposed to fill up five vacancies of the judges in the top court.
Constitutional experts and legal luminaries said there is no convention or precedent that the CJI ceases to function from the day his successor is named. They point out that the collegium meeting was called much before the President appointed Justice Ramana to succeed CJI Bobde.
They said CJI Bobde continues to preside over a Bench and passes orders every day since after Justice Ramana's appointment and they remain valid as he remains the CJI with all powers until the last day of his superannuation on April 23.
The stories were planted in the newspapers only to scuttle any possibility of the collegium recommending elevation of Tripura Chief Justice AkilKuresh to be one of the new Supreme Court judges.
Justice Kureshi, who joined the judiciary in 2004 in the Gujarat High Court, had fallen out with the Government because of his two judgments: In 2010, he remanded Home Minister Amit Shah to two days of police custody in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh murder case and again in 2012, he upheld then Gujarat Governor KamlaBeniwal's decision to appoint the state Lokayukta without consulting then CM Narendra Modi.
He was shunted to the Bombay High Court in November 2018, within 12 days of his appointment as the acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court, to prevent him from becoming the full-fledged Chief Justice. The government also scuttled the collegium's recommendation to make him the Madhya Pradesh High Court Chief Justice, forcing it to move him as the chief justice of the Tripura High Court.
Justice Kureshi will retire on March 6 next year when he completes 62 years of age, but he will get three more years if elevated to the Supreme Court since the superannuation age in the Supreme Court is 65 years as against 62 years in the High Courts.



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