Justice S Muralidhar, whose immediate transfer following his criticism of Delhi police over the riots created ripples, was called a ‘Kohinoor’ and a rescuer of the helpless, by his colleagues in a send-off event at the Delhi High Court on Thursday (March 5).
In photos shared on social media, a large congregation of lawyers and judges was seen attending the farewell ceremony that was held in a giant hall on the court campus. Many were seen occupying balconies and stairways of the hall to get a glimpse of the event.
“The Kohinoor of the high court will be going a few 1oo km away,” Abhijay, the secretary of the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) said.
Delhi High Court Chief Justice DN Patel said the high court was losing a “most eminent judge” who can discuss any topic of law and decide any type of matter.
“Punjab and Haryana High Court is ever so fortunate to steal Justice Muralidhar from us… as long as there are judges like you, people will have faith in the judiciary,” DHCBA president Mohit Mathur said.
Others like advocate Rahul Mehra, described Muralidhar as a lone warrior and that the Bar and Bench is losing one of its “highly intellectual, courageous, upright and incorruptible judges.”
On his part, Muralidhar apprised judges and lawyers about the sequence of communication on his transfer to Punjab and Haryana High Court, saying that he was informed about it on February 17 and had no problem with it.
He said he had received on February 17 a communication from the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde on a recommendation made by the Collegium for his transfer to Punjab and Haryana High court.
He acknowledged the communication and responded that if he has to be transferred from the Delhi High Court anyway, he has no problem going to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, he told the gathering.
A controversy erupted after the notification of Justice Muralidhar’s transfer was issued by the Centre on the night of February 26 — the day a bench headed by him had pulled up Delhi Police for failing to register FIRs against three BJP leaders for their alleged hate speeches.
(With inputs from agencies)