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Madras HC CJ Tahilramani Likely To Resign Over Transfer Proposal

6 Sep 2019 5:10 PM GMT
Madras HC CJ Tahilramani Likely To Resign Over Transfer Proposal
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Madras High Court Chief Justice V K Tahilramani is likely to resign, reports the NDTV. She is the senior most among HC Chief Justices of the country.

The move is seemingly in protest of the Supreme Court collegium's proposal to transfer her to Meghalaya High Court.

As per a report in 'The Hindu', she made her plan public on Friday night during a dinner hosted by six Madras HC judges, who were made permanent recently.

The collegium consisting of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Bobde, Ramana, Arun Mishra and Nariman in a meeting held on September 3 had rejected Justice Tahilramani's request to reconsider the transfer proposal, which was originally made on August 28.

The collegium said that "it is not possible to accede to her request", while reiterating the proposal.

Justice Tahilramani, who became a judge of Bombay High Court in June 2001, was appointed as the Chief Justice of Madras High Court in August 2018.

Before judgeship, she had served as a public prosecutor in Bombay High Court from 1990, and had appeared in many landmark cases such as Bharat Shah's trial. As a judge, she had presided the bench which delivered sentence in the Bilkis Bano case arising out of Gujarat riots. The trial of that case was transferred to Maharashtra from Gujarat by the Supreme Court.

She also served as the Acting Chief Justice of Bombay High Court for a brief time.

It is not usual for a judge to be transferred from a bigger High Court to a smaller High Court. Madras High Court, one of the chartered High Courts in India established during British times, has a sanctioned strength of 75 judges. Meghalaya High Court has at present two judges, including the Chief Justice, against a sanctioned strength of three judges.

Meghalaya High Court Chief Justice A K Mittal is recommended as the replacement of Justice Tahilramani at Madras HC. Justice Mittal, who is junior to Justice Tahilramani by nearly three years service, assumed charge at Meghalaya HC nearly three months ago, on May 29.

She had a term as HC judge till October 3, 2020.

A group of lawyers have sent a representation to the Supreme Court seeking the withdrawal of the transfer proposal, saying "arbitrary transfers whittle away the independence of the judiciary and the confidence of judges".

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