CHENNAI: Justice V Ramasubramanian of Madras High Court on Tuesday refused to recuse himself from hearing the Madras High Court Advocates’ Association’s (MHAA) writ petition praying for a direction to the authorities concerned to drop the list containing names of nine persons for elevation as High Court judges.
When the PIL, filed by MHAA secretary S Arivazhagan, came up before a Division Bench of Justices Ramasubramanian and PR Shivakumar, advocate K Muthuramalingam took objection to Justice Ramasubramanian hearing the matter. He sought transfer of the petition to some other Bench. He told the Bench that when the office-bearers of the MHAA met Chief Justice SK Kaul on February 20 in connection with the agitations, they were insisted by the judges to withdraw the protests and petition. However, advocates did not oblige. Justice Ramasubramanian was one among the judges, who was present at the meeting. Hence, Muthuramalingam argued it would not be proper for Justice Ramasubramanian, sitting on the bench, to hear the case. Justice Ramasubramanian pointed out that the CJ himself had rejected the representation and hence, there is no impediment for the Bench led by him to hear the case. When the Judge said that he would continue to hear the case, Muthuramalingam sought adjournment on the ground that the MHAA office-bearers are camping at Delhi. Granting the relief, the Judge adjourned the matter by a week.
According to petitioner, the High Court collegium had forwarded a list containing the names of nine persons for appointment as judges to the HC. Since then, the advocates have been indulging in various forms of agitations. They wanted the HC registrar to recall the list and urged the Supreme Court and other authorities to return the same. The HC should prepare a list for all the 18 posts, giving representation to communities, which have not been given any representation on the Bench till now, Muthuramalingam contended.