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Collegium clears Vikram Nath’s name for Gujarat High Court Chief Justice

The collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi reconsidered the proposal at the request of the government on Friday and decided to approve Nath’s elevation to the Gujarat High Court.

, ET Bureau|
Aug 31, 2019, 07.48 AM IST
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Gujarat High Court
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Collegium approved the appointment of Justice Vikram Nath as chief justice of the Gujarat High Court, superseding a proposal to appoint him chief justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

The collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi reconsidered the proposal at the request of the government on Friday and decided to approve Nath’s elevation to the Gujarat High Court. It also recommended appointing Justice JK Maheshwari, senior puisne judge of Madhya Pradesh High Court, as CJ of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, according to the collegium resolution on the SC website. While beginning his new stint as law minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad had said his ministry will not be a ‘post office’ but a stakeholder in judicial appointments.

The government had raised some concerns and referred Nath’s file back to the collegium for reconsideration in April. The CJI had written to Prasad on July 8, asking the government to state the “reasons and the kind of reconsideration” in appointing Nath to the Andhra Pradesh high court.

ET first reported on July 16 that the collegium had asked the law ministry to furnish details on why its recommendation on Nath’s posting should be reconsidered.

Meanwhile, the government is said to have asked Gogoi to consider Justice AA Kureshi, recommended to be appointed as Chief Justice of the MP High Court, for some other high court. The Supreme Court said on Wednesday that it had received a communication from the ministry regarding Kureshi’s appointment and that the matter would be placed before the collegium.

The Gujarat High Court Advocates Association has challenged the government’s decision to withhold the appointment of Qureshi as Chief Justice of the MP high court. Some senior judges told ET that since the matter was being heard on the judicial side, the government should have filed a sworn affidavit before the court instead of writing on the administrative side. Ideally, it should be decided by the bench hearing this matter and not the collegium, one judge remarked. Gogoi had written to Prasad on July 31 that the recommendation on Qureshi’s appointment was pending. However, he did not include Kureshi’s name in the list of pending cases for the appointment of judges since “it is the subject matter of judicial proceedings pending before the Supreme Court.”

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