The All India Bar Association has issued a statement on the ongoing row over Justice VK Tahilramani’s transfer from Madras High Court to the Meghalaya High Court, voicing their concern over the judge’s decision to resign in protest. The association’s statement comes a day after advocates of the Madras High Court boycotted work in protest of the judge’s transfer.
In the statement, the AIBA has suggested that Chief Justice VK Tahilramani should respect the decision of the Supreme Court collegium.
Stating that Justice Tahilramani has benefitted from the collegium’s decision in the past, AIBA says, “it would be unfair for anyone to even imagine that there could be ulterior reasons for the transfer of Chief Justice VK Tahilramani to Meghalaya High Court. As it is known that for appointment as the Acting Chief Justice, seniority is not considered and if there was any malice she wouldn’t have got appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of Bombay High Court 3 times and Chief Justice of Madras High Court.”
“AIBA suggests that the Chief Justice VK Tahilramani should respect the collective wisdom of the collegium of the Supreme Court especially when no allegation of any malafide has been leveled by her," the statement adds.
Taking exception to the resignation letter submitted to the apex court, the Association has said that the judge has ‘denigrated’ the collegium of the Supreme Court.
“She ought to have sportingly accepted the offer and proceeded to assume charge in the Meghalaya High Court, without discriminating that High Court and the people coming under its jurisdiction,” AIBA says.
The co-chairman of AIBA, lawyer S Prabhakaran had earlier told TNM, "The transfer was a decision taken by the collegium. We have to trust the collegium. Judges transfer other people, or ask them to obey transfer orders, therefore should we not expect a judge to do the same?"
The AIBA has also requested the Union government to take forward the recommendation of the Supreme Court and notify the transfer of the incumbent Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court Justice AK Mittal and pave way for his quick assumption of charge as Chief Justice of Madras High Court.