Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who on Tuesday night held a midnight hearing on the ongoing violence in New Delhi, was on Wednesday (February 26) transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The notification of the order read, “In exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 222 of the Constitution of India, the President, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, is pleased to transfer Shri Justice S Muralidhar, Judge of the Delhi High Court, as a Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and to direct him to assume charge of his office in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.”
Even though the Supreme Court Collegium, had in its meeting held on February 12 recommended to transfer Justice Muralidhar from the Delhi High Court to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, and the government passed the order on February 20, the timing of the notification has raised a storm in several quarters.
Taking exception to the transfer order, the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) observed a one-day strike condemning the move. They also passed a resolution condemning the move. The resolution expressed “shock, dismay and outrage” at the decision to recommend the transfer of “one of the finest judges to have adorned the bench.”
It stated, “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 honourable bench.”
Earlier on Wednesday, while hearing a plea on Delhi violence, Justice Muralidhar had said, “We cannot let another 1984-like event happen in this country,” and asked the government – at the centre and in Delhi – to work together to combat unrelenting violence that hit parts of the national capital for the fourth consecutive day.
(With inputs from agencies)