New Delhi: An international lawyers’ body has written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind raising concerns over the “hasty decision” of the government to transfer Justice S. Muralidhar from the Delhi high court to the Punjab and Haryana high court.
Justice Muralidhar was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana high court on the night of February 26, a day after he had pulled up Delhi Police for failing to register FIRs against three BJP leaders for allegedly giving hate speeches ahead of the communal riots in northeast Delhi.
“The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has issued an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind of India, urging him to take action against the hasty decision made in February 2020 to transfer Justice S Muralidhar from the Delhi High Court to the Punjab and Haryana High Court,” said the letter signed by office-bearers of the bar body.
The IBAHRI has issued an open letter urging President Ram Nath Kovind of #India to investigate the hasty transfer of Justice S Muralidhar in February 2020. The ruling was made after the judge criticised the New Delhi government and police. Read more: https://t.co/GFkvrfIEoS pic.twitter.com/U7a746larn
— IBAHRI (@IBAHRI) March 11, 2020
“This unusually prompt transfer at a time of alarming social unrest raises concerns of potential undermining of the independence of the judiciary in India. The right of the judiciary to hold the government to account is fundamental to the rule of law, and there should be no reprimand for a judge using his independent voice,” the release said.
The IBAHRI is an organisation of lawyers working to promote and protect human rights and the independence of the legal profession worldwide, it said.