Chandigarh: The Supreme Court collegium has recommended transfer of Delhi High Court Judge Justice S Muralidhar to Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Known for 'bold judgments', Justice Muralidhar's transfer was stalled for quite some time now. According to a report in the Indian Express, the Collegium had first mooted Justice Muralidhar's transfer in December and then again in January. However, several Supreme Court judges led by then CJI Ranjan Gogoi had shot down the proposal.
Justice Muralidhar is known for several key judgments, including conviction of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in 1984 anti-Sikh violence. His pro bono work included the cases for the victims of the Bhopal Gas Disaster and those displaced by the dams on the Narmada.
He was also a part of the two-judge Delhi High Court bench that had first struck down Section 377 of the IPC in 2009, legalizing homosexual sex between consenting adults in the Naz Foundation case. Besides, he is one of those judges who have said no to the colonial-era practice of addressing judges as 'My Lord' or 'Your Lordship'.
In 2010, Justice Muralidhar was a part of the full bench which had ruled that the CJI is a public authority and his office comes within the ambit of the RTI Act.
After beginning his practice in Chennai in 1984, Justice Muralidhar moved to Delhi and resumed practice as a High Court and Supreme Court lawyer. He was appointed judge of the Delhi High Court in 2006. He is slated to retire in 2023.
Besides Muralidhar, Justice Ravi Vijayakumar Malimath who is Karnataka High Court judge has been recommended for transfer to the Uttarakhand high court. The collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, in a meeting on February 12, also recommended transfer of Bombay High Court Judge Justice Ranjit V More to Meghalaya High Court.