Justice Muralidhar was third senior most judge in the Delhi High Court. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
New Delhi :
"This is my last judicial act as a judge of the Delhi High Court," said Justice S Muralidhar, who was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, on Thursday morning after delivering a judgment in a matter relating to commercial activities being carried out from residential areas. The notification about his transfer came on Wednesday evening after a bench headed by him had expressed "anguish" over the Delhi Police's failure to register FIRs against alleged hate speeches by three BJP leaders -- Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and Kapil Mishra. The Supreme Court collegium had made the recommendation for his transfer on February 12.
The notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice stated that the president took the decision after consulting the Chief Justice of India. The notification, however, did not mention when he has to take the charge of his office at the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
On Wednesday, the bench comprising of Justices Muralidhar and Talwant Singh, was hearing a plea seeking lodging of FIRs and arrests in relation to communal violence in northeast Delhi, which has claimed 38 lives and left around 200 injured, over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Justice Muralidhar, who was third senior most judge in the Delhi High Court after Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice GS Sistani, delivered the verdict along with Justice VK Rao on commercial activities in residential areas.
Just before the bench sat, lot of lawyers, including senior advocates, gathered inside the court room of Justice Muralidhar to express their gratitude. The staff had already communicated to the lawyers, who had matters listed before his bench, that he will not sit after pronouncement of the verdict.
After Justice Muralidhar delivered the judgment, which was yet to be uploaded, Delhi government additional standing counsel Gautam Narayan said it was a honour and a privilege to work with him. The same view was echoed by others and some younger lawyers also said that he was an "inspiration" for them. They all wished him good luck for the future.