"The manner in which her transfer was decided and announced was very undemocratic," says a member of the advocates' association.

Madras HC lawyers declare one day boycott over Justice Tahilramanis transfer
news Court Sunday, September 08, 2019 - 16:59

The Madras High Court Advocates' Association, which consists of 18,000 lawyers, has announced a boycott over the transfer of Madras High Court Chief Justice Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani. Advocates from the Madras High Court and the Magistrate courts will not be appearing for their cases on Tuesday, September 10.

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. 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.

Talking to TNM, G Mohanakrishnan, the President of the association, says, "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."

Also read: The Justice Tahilramani row: Former judge explains the process of judicial transfers

The advocate insists that the Madras HC Chief Justice has been unfairly 'demoted'.

"No reason has been given for her transfer. And for the Chief Justice of Madras High Court to be sent to a smaller court like Meghalaya is like making a principal of a school, a teacher for kindergarten students," he says. "We will be abstaining from going to court in protest," he adds.

Justice Tahilramani’s office has confirmed to TNM that the resignation was sent to President Ram Nath Kovind and a copy of the letter to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. Both the President and CJI offices have acknowledged the letter, said Justice Tahilramani's office.

On Friday, nearly a week after the decision on the transfer was made, Justice Tahilramani told senior counsel Indira Jaising that she had decided to resign. “I am no more part of the system and will be sending in my resignation to the President of India and Chief Justice of India,” she said.

The advocates, meanwhile, have avoided directly communicating with Justice Tahilramani.

"We don't want anyone to think this is a political move on our part," says advocate Mohanakrishnan . "This boycott is only to ensure that democratic ideals are not compromised."




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