Supreme Court issues statement to defend collegium’s transfer policy

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]MIDST growing criticism over transfer the Chief Justice of Madras High Court VK Tahilramani to the Meghalaya High Court, the Supreme Court through its Secretary-General has issued a statement on the recent recommendations of the Supreme Court’s Collegium, saying that that each recommendation for transfer of Chief Justices and judges of the High Courts were made in compliance with the required procedure, in the better interest of administration of justice.

Justice Tahilramani’s transfer to Meghalaya High Court and her subsequent decision to quit had followed a blizzard of critical articles in the media.

Without naming Justice Tahilramani, a statement issued by Supreme Court Secretary-General Sanjeev S. Kalgaonkar on Thursday said the recommendations regarding the transfer of Chief Justices and Judges of various High Courts were based cogent reasons.

“Certain reports relating to recommendations recently made by the Collegium regarding the transfer of Chief Justices/Judges of the High Courts have appeared in the media. As directed, it is stated that each of the recommendations for transfer was made for cogent reasons after complying with the required procedure in the interest of better administration of justice,” the statement read, adding, “Though it would not be in the interest of the institution to disclose the reasons for transfer, if found necessary, the Collegium will have no hesitation in disclosing the same.”

The statement further maintained that each of the recommendations was made after full and complete deliberations and the same were unanimously agreed upon by the Collegium.

On August 28, the Collegium which comprises the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana, Arun Mishra and R F Nariman had recommended to the Union Law Minister to transfer out Madras High Court Chief Justice VK Tahilramani to the Meghalaya High Court.

Justice Tahilramani, in protest, had resigned from the office on September 6, 2019. Before tendering her resignation, she had also requested the Collegium to reconsider its recommendation to transfer her out. Her request was, however, turned down by the Collegium.

In letter addressed to the judges of the apex court, the advocates from Madras had said: “We request the Supreme Court to reconsider the transfer and ensure that the confidence of the Bar and Bench and litigant public doesn’t get further eroded.”

The Madras Bar had also boycotted courts for a day to express solidarity with the judge.


Read the Statement here: