Justice Muralidhar began his law practice in Chennai in September 1984 and in 1987 shifted to the Supreme Court of India and the Delhi High Court. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
New Delhi :
A midnight circular by the Centre notified transfer of Delhi High Court judge Justice S Murlidhar to Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday. A day earlier on Wednesday, Justice Murlidhar, while hearing the case related to Delhi riots, had ordered FIR against BJP leaders including Kapil Mishra. It should be noted that the Supreme Court Collegium, in a March 12 meeting, had recommended Justice Murlidhar’s transfer. Apart from him, other recommendation included transfer of Bombay High Court Judge Justice Ranjit V More to Meghalaya High Court. Apart from these two judges, Justice Ravi Vijayakumar Malimath who is Karnataka High Court judge was recommended for transfer to the Uttarakhand High Court.
"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," the government’s midnight notification said.
While the notification may be part of the process, there are concerns over the timing of the circular. Justice Murlidhar, during hearing the case related to Delhi violence on Wednesday, had rebuked the Delhi Police and remarked, ‘we can’t let another 1984 in this country.’
The High Court had ordered the police to immediately register FIRs against three BJP leaders and others who made inflammatory speeches that allegedly led to the violence in northeast Delhi over the amended citizenship law (CAA). The court asked the police to immediately update the court about the order. “Our order is not limited only to hate speech videos of three BJP leaders. FIR should be registered in case of every hate speech,” the court said.
The court was hearing a plea seeking lodging of FIRs and arrests of those involved in the ongoing communal violence in parts of northeast Delhi over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. It has left more than 20 people dead and over 180 injured.
Justice Muralidhar began his law practice in Chennai in September 1984 and in 1987 shifted to the Supreme Court of India and the Delhi High Court. He was active as a lawyer for the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee and was its member for two terms. His pro bono work included the cases for the victims of the Bhopal Gas Disaster and those displaced by the dams on the Narmada.
(With agency inputs)