Furore over Justice Muralidhar’s transfer

Furore over Justice Muralidhar’s transfer

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 19

The Supreme Court collegium has recommended transfer of Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court to the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Justice Muralidhar, who was appointed as a judge in 2006, is the third senior-most judge of the Delhi High Court. He led the Delhi High Court Bench which convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment former Delhi Congress leader Sajjan Kumar on December 18, 2018, in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

Headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, the collegium, in its February 12 meeting, also recommended transfer of Bombay High Court Judge Justice Ranjit V More to Meghalaya High Court and Justice Ravi Vijayakumar Malimath of the Karnataka High Court to the Uttarakhand High Court.

As the news about the collegium’s recommendation for Justice Muralidhar’s transfer spread, the executive committee of the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) held an emergency meeting in which it resolved to abstain from work on Thursday to protest the decision to transfer him.

Requesting the collegium to “revisit and recall” its decision, the DHCBA said, “Such transfers are not only detrimental to our noble institution but also tend to erode and dislodge the faith of the common litigant in the justice dispensation system. Such transfers also impede free and fair delivery of justice by the Bench.”

Earlier, in an SMS message released to its members during the day, the DHCBA expressed “shock” and condemned “unequivocally and in the strongest possible terms” Justice Muraldihar’s transfer, saying it will be “a great loss to our institution.”

Justice Muralidhar started his practice as an advocate in Chennai in 1984 and shifted to the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court in 1987. He was also active as a lawyer for the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee. His pro bono work included the cases for the victims of the Bhopal gas disaster and those displaced by the dams on the Narmada. He was also part of the Delhi High Court’s verdicts on decriminalisation of homosexuality and application of RTI to the CJI’s office.

Bar to protest today

As news on SC collegium recommending that Justice S Muralidhar be shifted to the Punjab and Haryana HC spread, the Delhi HC Bar Association executive committee decided to abstain from work on Thursday in protest.

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