CJI transfer: MHC advocates boycotting work on Sep 10

CJI transfer: MHC advocates boycotting work on Sep 10

Over 18,000 lawyers owing allegiance to Madras High Court Advocates’ Association (MHAA) will boycott work on Tuesday, to protest against the “sudden transfer” of Chief Justice V K Tahilramani to Meghalaya High Court. Though Justice Tahilramani resigned on Saturday protesting against the transfer, the MHAA would go ahead with its protest.

Tahilramani, the senior-most among the judges of High Courts in the country, was transferred to the Meghalaya High Court, which had a maximum strength of three judges, on August 28. On September 3, the Collegium had declined Justice Tahilramani's request, made on September 2, to reconsider the decision.

Following this, the Chief Justice resigned on September 6, protesting the collegium’s decision. She sent her resignation letter to the President of India on Saturday.

“The transfer was done all of a sudden. There was no need for sudden transfer and that too to a high court that has just three judges. We see this move as vindictive. Hence, we will boycott the court on Tuesday as a mark of protest against the collegium’s decision,” G Mohanakrishnan, president, MHAA, told DH.

“This is like transferring a college principal to a kinder garden school,” he added. Mohanakrishnan said no one is able to understand the need to transfer a judge from a High Court like Madras to Meghalaya without any need. “There was no vacancy in Meghalaya. This is just swapping of places by two judges which we feel is unnecessary,” he said.

Tahilramanai, who assumed office as CJ of the Madras High Court in 2018, is best known for her verdict upholding life sentence awarded to 11 convicts in the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of her family during the 2002 Gujarat riots. This is the only case in connection with the riots that resulted in a conviction.