Prez accepts Justice V K Tahilramani's resignation

Prez accepts Justice V K Tahilramani's resignation

A fortnight after she resigned in protest against her transfer to Meghalaya High Court, President Ram Nath Kovind has accepted the resignation of Madras High Court Chief Justice V K Tahilramani. A notification issued by the Law and Justice Ministry on Friday stated that she had resigned from September 6.

The senior-most judge Vineet Kothari has been asked to continue with the duties of the Chief Justice of the High Court. After she had put in her papers, Tahilramani had been keeping away from attending the court proceedings. 

In an order issued on Friday night, Kovind accepted the resignation of Tahilramani and appointed Justice Kothari to carry out the responsibilities of the Chief Justice. 

Tahilramanai, who assumed office as CJ of 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 when she was in the Bombay High Court. This is the only case in connection with the riots that resulted in conviction. 

Tahilramani quit as she was upset that her request to reconsider the decision to transfer her to Meghalaya High Court, which has a strength of just three judges, from Madras High Court, which has a sanctioned strength of 75 judges, was not accepted. 

Rahilramanai, who was acting Chief Justice of Bombay High Court for two years, succeeded Indira Banerjee, who was elevated as Judge of Supreme Court. 

The Collegium, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising four other senior most judges, had on August 28 proposed her transfer to the Meghalaya HC. On September 3, the Collegium had declined Justice Tahilramani's request, made on September 2, to reconsider the decision. It had reiterated its recommendation.

It had further asserted the recommendations for transfer were unanimously agreed upon by the Collegium headed by the CJI and also comprising four senior most judges of Justice S A Bobde, N V Ramana, Arun Mishra and R F Nariman of the Supreme Court.

A news magazine also carried an opinion piece by Justice Markandey Katju, former SC judge and Chief Justice of Madras HC, where he stated, “the real reasons for chief justice Tahilramani's transfer, as I was informed in my conversations (with sitting judges of the SC and other lawyers) was that she was hardly working in the Madras HC.”

“She would sit only till about 12 or 12.30 pm, but not in the post-lunch session. Following her example, many other justices of the Madras HC would also not sit in the post-lunch session. Even when chief justice Tahilramani would sit in court, she would at most pass interim orders and adjourn cases and hardly gave any final judgement,” he had added.