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Justice Akil Kureshi was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court on Saturday.
Justice Kureshi, a senior judge originally from the Gujarat High Court, had been serving as as a judge of the Bombay High Court following a transfer until his appointment as Tripura High Court Chief Justice. Justice Akil Kureshi started his practice in 1983 after obtaining an LL.B. degree that same year. He was appointed as an additional judge of the Gujarat High Court in March 2004 and was confirmed as a permanent judge in 2005. His appointment as Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court was cleared by the Central Government earlier this month.
The question of Justice Kureshi’s elevation as Chief Justice has been mired in controversy since last year, after it was revealed that Justice AS Dave – a judge less senior to Kureshi J – would be appointed as Acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court after Justice Subhash Reddy’s elevation to the Supreme Court. At the time, Justice Kureshi was the senior most judge of the Gujarat High Court.
At the same time, Justice Kureshi was transferred to the Bombay High Court, even as the Gujarat Bar reacted strongly. Eventually, Justice Kureshi served as Acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court for a short period, before he assumed his duties at the Bombay High Court.
Thereafter, in May 2019, the Collegium initially recommended the elevation of Justice Akil Kureshi as Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. However, the Central Government returned his file to the Collegium twice, prompting the Collegium to eventually recommend that Justice Kureshi be appointed to helm the Tripura High Court.