Move to Transfer Madras HC Chief Justice Can't Be Considered Routine: Brinda Karat

Madras high court Chief Justice Vijaya Tahilramani was transferred to Meghalaya high court, but she subsequently resigned.

New Delhi: CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat said, on Saturday, termed the transfer and subsequent resignation of Madras High Court Chief Justice Vijaya Tahilramani “shocking and disturbing”. She also said that the move was an “insult” and cannot be considered routine.

Tahilramani, on Friday, decided to resign after she was transferred to the Meghalaya High Court, one of the smallest in India, by the Supreme Court collegium. She appealed to the collegium to reconsider its decision but it was turned down two days ago.

“The transfer of the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court Justice Vijaya Tahilramani to the Meghalaya Court and her subsequent reported resignation is deeply disturbing and shocking,” said Karat. She continued, “As it is there are such few women judges at this level and the treatment meted out to her is insulting and humiliating not just to her but to women in general.” Tahilramani has an impeccable record and is one of the senior most high court judges in the country, the CPI(M) leader said.

“To be transferred as the Chief Justice from a court with 75 judges to one in Meghalaya which has only two judges cannot be considered a routine transfer and is a virtual demotion. This entire episode once again highlights the unsatisfactory opaque present system of judicial appointments and transfers,” Karat said in a statement.

The collegium, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, recommended transfer of Justice Tahilramani, who was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court on August 8 last year, to the Meghalaya High Court.

The collegium recommended her transfer on August 28, after which she had made a representation to the collegium requesting it to reconsider the proposal for transfer.