Gujarat HC Lawyers Allege Judge Transferred Because ‘Disliked’ By Modi and Shah, Go On Strike
The Gujarat High Court Advocate Association called the transfer an attack on the “independence of judiciary”.
Alleging that the transfer of Gujarat High Court Justice Akil Kureshi to the Mumbai High Court had affected the “independence of judiciary”, the Gujarat High Court Advocate Association (GHAA) is on an indefinite strike from Friday, November 2.
The GHAA also alleged that Justice Kureshi was transferred because he was ‘disliked’ by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah. Justice Kureshi had been the presiding judge in a couple of cases involving the PM and Shah between 2010-11.
In its resolution, the GHAA noted, “The bar, upon detailed deliberation in its meeting held on November 1, 2018, unanimously finds no reason to justify his transfer from being seniormost puisne judge of the Gujarat High Court to number five judge in the Bombay High Court ostensibly in the interest of better administration of justice. (The bar) believes that such a transfer is unjustified and certainly has no connection with better administration of justice.”
Justice Kureshi would have been the senior-most Justice at the Gujarat High Court – and as such, the acting Chief Justice of the High Court – following the elevation of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy to the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday, November 1. However, on October 29, the SC collegium had made recommendations that he be transferred to the Bombay HC, which meant that he would lose his hierarchical seniority.
The GHAA is also contemplating challenging the transfer order through a writ petition.
The union law ministry issued a statement confirming Justice Kureshi’s transfer. The statement said, “The President, after consultation with the the Chief Justice of India, is pleased to transfer Justice Akil Kureshi, judge of Gujarat High Court, as judge of Bombay High Court and to direct him to assume charge of his office in the Bombay High Court on or before 15th November.