Justice VK Tahilramani was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court on August 12, 2018. (Photo tweeted by @srivatsayb)
Madras High Court Chief Justice VK Tahilramani’s resignation was formally accepted on Saturday. The development was confirmed by after the government released an official notification. President Ram Nath Kovind accepted her resignation, the notification said. The Madras High Court Chief had resigned from her post on September 6 in protest against her transfer to Meghalaya High Court. On August 28, the Supreme Court Collegium had recommended the swapping of Chief Justices of Tamil Nadu and Meghalaya. According to the Collegium, Justice AK Mittal of Meghalaya High Court was to be appointed as Madras High Court Chief Justice.
Refusing to reconsider Justice Tahilramani’s plea, Collegium had also said it had cogent reasons."The collegium has carefully gone through the aforesaid representation and taken into consideration all relevant factors. On reconsideration, the collegium is of the considered view that it is not possible to accede to her request," said the resolution dated September 3, which was uploaded on the apex court website. "The collegium, accordingly, reiterates its recommendation dated August 28, 2019 for transfer of Justice V K Tahilramani to Meghalaya High Court," it further said.
The sudden proposal to transfer Justice Tahilramani to the Meghalaya High Court had sent shockwaves in legal fraternity, given that Justice Tahilramani was the senior-most judge among High Court judges in the country.
Justice Tahilramani served as acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court three times between 2015 and 2017. While holding office as the acting chief justice of the Bombay High Court, Justice Tahilramani had in May 2017 upheld the conviction and life imprisonment of 11 people in the Bilkis Bano gang-rape case, which was transferred to Maharashtra from Gujarat by the top court. She had also set aside the acquittal of seven persons in the case including 5 police officers and 2 doctors, convicting them under sections 201 (tampering of evidence) and 218 (not performing duties) of the Indian Penal Code.
Apart from the swapping, the Supreme Court collegium had also recommended transfer of Justice Vivek Agarwal of the Madhya Pradesh High Court to Allahabad High Court and Justice Amit Rawal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the Kerala High Court.