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SC collegium transfers four Chief Justices including Andhra Pradesh HC CJ

In an unprecedented move, the Andhra Pradesh chief minister, on October 6, had written to Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde alleging that the state High Court was being used to "destabilise and topple' his democratically elected government.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: December 16, 2020 8:00:00 pm
Bail pleas of journalist, another: SC says why not go to HCBesides Justice Muralidhar, the collegium has also approved the elevation of four judges as Chief Justices of different High Courts.

In a major reshuffle, the Supreme Court collegium has recommended to the Centre the transfer of four Chief Justices (CJs) of high courts including Andhra Pradesh High Court’s Chief Justice J K Maheshwari to the Sikkim High Court, weeks after chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had complained to the CJI about the state’s top judiciary.

In an unprecedented move, the Andhra Pradesh chief minister, on October 6, had written to Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde alleging that the state High Court was being used to “destabilise and topple’ his democratically elected government.

The collegium headed by the CJI, in its meeting held on December 14, also recommended elevation of five high court judges as Chief Justices of different High Courts including Justice Dr S Muralidhar whose notification transferring him to Punjab and Haryana High Court close to mid night of February 26 had created a huge controversy.

Justice Muralidhar has been recommended to be elevated as Chief Justice of Orissa High Court. Justice Muralidhar’s transfer from Delhi High Court to Punjab and Haryana High Court was notified on the day a bench headed by him had pulled up Delhi Police for failing to register FIRs against three BJP leaders for their alleged hate speeches which purportedly led to the recent violence in northeast Delhi.

The collegium had in a meeting on February 12 recommended the transfer of Justice Muralidhar to Punjab and Haryana High Court. As per recent collegium’s recommendations posted on apex court’s website, the collegium, besides recommending transfer of Chief Justice Maheshwari to Sikkim HC, has also recommended the transfer of Sikkim High Court Chief Justice A K Goswami to the Andhra Pradesh HC.

It has approved the proposal to transfer Telangana HC Chief Justice R S Chauhan as Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court while Orissa High Court Chief Justice Mohammed Rafiq has been sent to Madhya Pradesh High Court.

Besides them, the Collegium has also recommended transfer of Justice Sanjay Yadav from Madhya Pradesh High Court to Allahabad HC, while Justice Vineet Kothari has been sent to Gujarat HC from Madras HC. Justice Rajesh Bindal has been transferred from Jammu and Kashmir High Court to Calcutta HC, it said, adding that Justice Joymalya Bagchi has been sent to Andhra Pradesh HC from Calcutta and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma has been sent from Madhya Pradesh HC to Karnataka HC.

Besides Justice Muralidhar, the collegium has also approved the elevation of four judges as Chief Justices of different High Courts.

According to the apex court website, the Collegium, in its meeting held on December 14, has also approved the proposal to elevate Delhi HC judge Justice Hima Kohli as Chief Justice of Telangana High Court, Calcutta HC judge Justice Sanjib Banerjee as Chief Justice of Madras High Court.

Besides them, the Collegium has also okayed the proposal to elevate Allahabad HC judge Pankaj Mithal as Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand HC judge Sudhanshu Dhulia as Gauhati HC Chief Justice. Apart from CJI Bobde, Justices N V Ramana, R F Nariman, U U Lalit and A M Khanwilkar are part of the 5-judge Collegium.

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