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Murali Krishnan @legaljournalist
, 20 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
The Supreme Court Collegium is in the limelight once again and not for the right reasons. But what exactly is the issue? #Thread
Justice Akil Kureshi’s transfer from Gujarat HC to Bombay High Court is what has resulted in a backlash. It has created an uproar at the Gujarat Bar.
The Gujarat HC lawyers have thrown their weight behind Justice Kureshi and are observing a strike. But what is their grievance?
With the elevation of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy to Supreme Court, Justice Kureshi was slated to take over as Acting Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court.
However, he was transferred to Bombay HC as Puisne judge. Its very unusual for a senior HC judge to be transferred to another HC as Puisne judge.
At Bombay HC, Justice Kureshi would be fifth senior most judge.
It was alleged by the Bar that Justice Kureshi was being transferred deliberately to prevent him from becoming acting CJ of Guj HC since he had passed orders against political big weights in the past.
What lent credence to this argument was that Collegium’s recommendation to transfer Justice Kureshi was notified immediately by the Centre and Justice AS Dave who is junior to Kureshi was appointed Acting CJ of Guj HC.
This could have resulted in a situation where Kureshi J. would have served as judge of Guj HC under a judge who is junior to him, albeit for a few days till he took charge as Bom HC judge.
However, this time the Collegium, it is learnt, stepped in to avoid this.
CJI Gogoi immediately wrote to Centre to issue notification appointing Kureshi J as Guj HC judge and recalling appointment of AS Dave J. The Centre promptly complied with it.
But the Gujarat HC lawyers are not lying down and taking the transfer of Justice Kureshi to Bom HC.
Sr. Advocates Dushyant Dave and Yatin Oza have come down hard upon the transfer.
And now 20 Senior advocates from Guj HC have written to the Supreme Court Collegium asking them to reconsider its decision to transfer Kureshi J.
They have stated that Kureshi J., who is one of the finest judges in the High Court, is being sidelined due to the fact that many of his judgments did not find favour with the present dispensation.
According to sources, the Gujarat Bar is now planning to file a petition challenging the transfer.
What is most interesting, however, is that in effecting transfer of a puisne High Court judge to another HC, the SC collegium seeks the opinion of the Chief Justice of concerned HC.

In this case, CJ Subhash Reddy’s opinion might have been sought;
And Akil Kureshi J. was the judge who spoke on the occasion of Justice Subhash Reddy’s farewell from Guj HC knowing fully well that the opinion of Reddy J. about him might have been sought by the SC Collegium.
This is not the first such instance happening in Gujarat High Court. Justice Jayant Patel had met with a similar fate prompting him to resign.…
The plea by 20 Sr. lawyers to Collegium ends on the following note:

“An individual judge wages a lonely battle at great sacrifice and risk. If at times like these, the Institution does not stand behind a judge...and lend support, it would be failing in its Constitutional duty.."
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