The Central government today notified the appointment of Ravi Shanker Jha as acting Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court with effect from June 10 when current Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar Seth will retire. The Centre seems to have kept on hold the appointment of Justice Akil Kureshi as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court.
Kureshi J. was the senior-most judge of Gujarat High Court in 2018 behind the then Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy. With Reddy J. being elevated to Supreme Court, Kureshi J. would have taken over as Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court but he was transferred to Bombay High Court as puisne judge before that could happen.
Interestingly, despite the same, he would have continued to be a judge of the Gujarat High Court till he assumed charge at the Bombay High Court and would, therefore, have automatically been Acting Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court for a few days.
But the Central government issued a notification appointing Justice Anant Dave as the Acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court on the elevation of Justice R Subhash Reddy as the judge of Supreme Court, instead of making Justice Kureshi the acting Chief Justice. This course was corrected only after the intervention of the Chief Justice of India.
Eventually, Kureshi J. took charge as judge of Bombay High Court.
On the final day before the declaration of 2019 General election results, the Central government issued twelve notifications clearing appointments of judges to various High Courts and the Supreme Court.
This included four appointments to the Supreme Court (even though the Supreme Court was shut for vacation) and two appointments as Chief Justices of High Courts of two States.
However, conspicuous again was the absence of notification clearing the name of Justice Akil Kureshi for appointment as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court.
The Collegium had recommended the name of Akil Kureshi J. for appointment as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court on May 10.
This is yet to be notified.
The appointments of Justice Vikram Nath as Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court and Justice V Ramasubramanian as Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court have also not been notified.