BH CORRESPONDENT, New Delhi: Amid the hearing in a case of provocative speeches made by many political leaders during Assembly election, Senior Delhi High Court judge, Justice S Muralidhar was transferred on Wednesday. Justice Murlidhar had been critical of the Delhi Police’s action in curbing the violence.
This decision came as a shock as he was hearing the case which allegedly triggered the clashes in Northeast Delhi and took lives of 38.
“This would be my last judicial act in this court,” Justice S Muralidhar said.
President Ram Nath Kovind after consulting with Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bodbe, transferred Justice Muralidhar as the Judge of Punjab and Haryana High court and directed him to assume charge.
The bench headed by Justice Murlidhar expressed “anguish” on Thursday over the Delhi Police’s failure to register FIRs against alleged hate speeches.
BJP leader Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Sharma and Anurag Tahkur have been pointed out by the petitioners for their inflammatory speeches. Delhi High Court Chief Justice DN Patel will hear the case on Thursday at 2.15 pm.
The opposition attacked the government over the sudden transfer calling a classic “hit-and-run injustice” by the BJP.
“Remembering the brave Judge Loya, who wasn’t transferred,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted, referring to Justice BH Loya, who died in 2014, while he was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter killing case in which Amit Shah was an accused. It became a huge political controversy.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi called the move “sad and shameful”.
But the Central government hit back, saying the transfer was ordered on the recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and was carried out with the “consent of the judge”. The Supreme Court collegium had recommended Justice Muralidhar’s transfer on February 12.
Meanwhile, the number of deaths went up to 34 on after two bodies were found in a drain in Gagan Vihar-Johripur area and more than 200 have been injured in the four days of Delhi violence.
BJP Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad countered allegations and said Justice Muralidhar’s transfer was decided before the Delhi violence,
“Transfer of Hon’ble Justice Muralidhar was done pursuant to the recommendation dated 12.02.2020 of the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India. While transferring the judge consent of the judge is taken. The well settled process have been followed,” he tweeted.