Madras high court advocates to resume work on Thursday

Even as the bar ends the protest over recent transfer of the Chief Justice Vijaya K Tahilramani, there are dissenting voices calling for reforms in the Supreme Court's collegium system.

Published: 12th September 2019 12:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2019 12:47 AM   |  A+A-

Lawyers staging a protest in the Madras High Court campus

Lawyers staging a protest in the Madras High Court campus. (Photo | D Sampathkumar, EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: As members of Madras High Court Advocates Association have decided to resume work from Thursday, former High Court justice D Hariparanthaman told Express on Wednesday that, "Collegium is no more virtuous and not all their decisions are apolitical," and that a prior consultation must have been held before the "arbitrary transfer" of Chief Justice Vijaya K Tahilramani by the Supreme Court Collegium to Meghalaya High Court. She had resigned after her transfer was issued.

After registering two days of protest, the Madras High Court Advocates Association has decided to resume work from Thursday.

Ever since the transfer orders were sent by the collegium to the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, the campus of High Court has been witnessing protests. The advocates boycotted the proceedings on Tuesday.

"A consultation should have been done in prior if a senior person is being transferred abruptly and Vijaya K Tahilramani is not the only case. Earlier, Justice Jayant Patel, who was to be appointed Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, had resigned when he was transferred to the Allahabad High Court and the elevation of Justice Sanjiv Khanna by the collegium despite being less in the combined seniority list to the Supreme Court recently, which took everyone by surprise", emphasized D Hariparanthaman.

"The collegium yields to the executive pressure of whichever government that gets elected as otherwise, they cannot survive", he added.

Meanwhile, G Mohanakrishnan, the president of Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) said that the advocates will work as usual from Thursday." After a consultation with the members of other bar associations the next decision will be taken", he added.

The way in which the transfer was carried only was not appropriate and citing "transfer in the interest of better administration" in the order makes it fishy, says senior advocate KM Vijayan.

However, Former Madras High Court judge, Justice K Chandru, says that size of a Court does not matter as every High Court across the country has the same powers according to article 215 of the Constitution. He further added that efficient judges are sometimes being sent to set things right in some of the high courts, and instances of several judges being transferred to smaller courts has always been in practice.

Chandru highlighted that Justice AK Mittal, who is now being appointed as Chief Justice of Madras high court, served as the acting Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, which is bigger when compared to Meghalaya to which he was later transferred and now he is being posted at the Madras High Court.

Meanwhile, no cases are listed for hearing on Thursday before the first bench of the high court presided by the Chief Justice. Chief Justice Tahilramani did not take up her judicial duties since Monday.

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