The Central government has notified the transfer of Justice S Muralidhar of Delhi High Court to Punjab and Haryana High Court. A notification in this regard was issued by the Law Ministry on the evening of 26 February, after attaining President’s assent.
Earlier on 12 February, the Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, has recommended the transfer of Justice S Muralidhar, Justice Ranjit V More, and Justice Ravi Vijaykumar Malimath to Punjab and Haryana High Court, Meghalaya High Court and Uttarakhand High Court, respectively.
On 26 February, in the early hour hearing, Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Anup J Bhambhani directed the Delhi Police to ensure the safe passage of the injured victims who were stuck in a fairly small hospital in northeast Delhi after the protests against Citizenship Amendment Act turned violent, to the hospitals with better facilities, by deploying all resources at its command and on the strength of this order.
Subsequently, the Ministry notified the transfer of Justice S Muralidhar from Delhi High Court to Punjab and Haryana High Court on the same day when he along with Justice Anup J Bhambhani directed the Delhi Police to ensure the safe passage of the injured victims in the Delhi riots and also came down heavily on the Delhi Police over its inaction in registering FIRs against the BJP leaders for their hate speech.
Justice Murlidhar is the third senior-most judge in the Delhi High Court after Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Sistani.
As per reports, when his transfer orders were first made public on 19 February, the Delhi High Court Bar Association expressed shock and had condemned the recommendation of transfer ‘unequivocally.’ Further, on 20 February, lawyers in the High Court had also abstained from work for one day in protest against Justice Murlidhar’s transfer.
Justice Muralidhar started his law practice in Chennai in 1984. He then shifted to Delhi in 1987 and continued his practice. Subsequently, he was elevated as a judge of Delhi High Court in May 2006 and has been in the post since then. Being the judge at Delhi High Court, Justice Muralidhar convicted members of the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) in the Hashimpura massacre case and Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. He was also a part of the Delhi High Court bench that first legalized LGBTQ sex in the 2009 Naz Foundation case, by striking down section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
Justice Muralidhar, the third senior-most judge in the Delhi High Court has been issued notification of his transfer from Delhi High Court to Punjab and Haryana High Court. #JusticeMuralidhar #DelhiHighCourt pic.twitter.com/u4bNJEGBAv
— B&B Associates LLP (@bnb_legal) February 27, 2020