Around 18,000 lawyers belonging to the Madras High Court Advocates Association boycotted court proceedings on Tuesday protesting the transfer of Madras High Court Chief Justice Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani, who has subsequently resigned.
The High Court that’s usually abuzz with activity during the day is a scene of quiet corridors. Almost the entire strength of Madras HC Advocates' Association has gone on boycott. Advocates from the Madras High Court and the Magistrate courts will not be appearing for their cases on Tuesday. Only Government advocates appear to be working at Madras HC on Tuesday.
The advocates hope to appeal to the Supreme Court collegium, that passed the transfer order, to reconsider its decision along with a simultaneous appeal to Justice Tahilramani to withdraw her resignation.
On Monday afternoon, Madras HC advocates held a lunch-hour demonstration inside the court premises, condemning her transfer. On Monday morning, Tamil Nadu Law Minister CVe Shanmugam met the Chief Justice at her residence and requested her to withdraw her resignation.
On Saturday, Justice Tahilramani resigned over the Supreme Court collegium’s orders to transfer her to the Meghalaya High Court, “in the interest of better administration of justice.” The collegium had rejected her appeal asking for reconsideration of the transfer. Justice AK Mittal, Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court, was recommended to take her place as the Madras High Court Chief Justice. Justice AK Mittal is two years her junior when it comes to seniority.
The collegium’s decision has come under immense scrutiny because Justice Tahilramani was being moved from a court with a sanctioned strength of 75 judges to a smaller court with just three judges. G Mohanakrishnan, the President of the Madras HC Advocates Association, had previously told TNM, "The manner in which her transfer was decided and announced was very undemocratic. This will affect the independence of judges and their power to individually decide on cases."