NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind has accepted the resignation of former Madras High Court Chief Justice VK Tahilramani after she was transferred to Meghalaya High Court by the Supreme Court collegium early this month.
Justice Tahilramani's resignation has been accepted with effect from September 6. She tendered her resignation to President and sent a copy to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and did not preside over the court proceedings.
In a notification issued late on Friday night, Ministry of Law and Justice has appointed Justice Vineet Kothari, the senior-most judge of the Madras High Court, to perform duties of the office of the Chief Justice with immediate effect. The government has also appointed Acting Chief Justices of Kerala, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana and Himachal Pradesh since the Chief Justices of the High Courts were elevated to the Supreme Court.
According to the notification, Rajasthan High Court will be headed by Justice M Rafiq, Himachal Pradesh High Court will be officiated by Justice DC Chaudhary, Kerala High Court will be headed by Justice CVK Abdul Rehim and Punjab and Haryana High Court will be led by Justice Rajeev Sharma.
The collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, had recommended transfer of Justice Tahilramani, who was elevated as the High Court's chief justice on August 8 last year, to the Meghalaya High Court.
The collegium had recommended her transfer on August 28, after which she had made a representation requesting it to reconsider the proposal. She protested against the Collegium decision to not consider her request against transferring her to the Meghalaya High Court.
After the Supreme Court Collegium declined her request for reconsideration of transfer, Madras High Court Chief Justice Vijaya K Tahilramani resigned. She was to retire on October 2, 2020.
Bar associations also protested against the proposal with lawyers across Tamil Nadu abstain from court for several days.
To put an end to the transfer controversy, without naming Justice Tahilramani, a statement was issued by the office of Supreme Court Secretary-General Sanjeev S Kalgaonkar which stated that the reasons of transfer of judges were not disclosed in the interest of the institution but the apex court collegium would not hesitate to disclose them in the circumstance it becomes necessary and all transfers were based on cogent reasons.