Judge hearing Delhi violence case transferred to Punjab & Haryana HC
The notification of the transfer of Justice S. Muralidhar was issued on Wednesday night by the centre. He was hearing the Delhi violence case and a bench headed by him had expressed "anguish" over the police's inaction in preventing the unrest.
Delhi High Court Judge S. Muralidhar, who pulled up the Delhi Police for its failure to register FIRs against three BJP leaders for allegedly instigating violence, has been transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, days after the Supreme Court collegium made the recommendation. The move has triggered a row, but the government says that "a well-settled process" had been followed and the judge's consent had been taken.
The notification on the transfer of Justice Muralidhar was issued on Wednesday night by the central government. The judge was hearing the Delhi violence case and a bench headed by him had expressed "anguish" over the police's inaction in preventing the unrest.
The death toll in the Northeast Delhi clashes has gone up to 32 with over 200 injured, senior officials said.
"In exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 222 of the Constitution of India, the President, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, is pleased to transfer Shri Justice S Muralidhar, Judge of the Delhi High Court, as a Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and to direct him to assume charge of his office in the Punjab and Haryana High Court," the government notification read.
The Congress party has alleged that Justice Muralidhar was transferred by the government to save BJP leaders in the Delhi violence case. Reacting to the accusation, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday that the judge was transferred following the recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium. He asserted that a "well-settled process" was followed.
Transfer of Hon’ble Justice Muralidhar was done pursuant to the recommendation dated 12.02.2020 of the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India. While transferring the judge consent of the judge is taken. The well settled process have been followed.— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) February 27, 2020
By politicising a routine transfer, Congress has yet again displayed its scant regard for the judiciary. People of India have rejected Congress Party and hence it is hell bent on destroying the very institutions India cherishes by constantly attacking them.— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) February 27, 2020
The notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice stated that the President took the decision after consulting the Chief Justice of India. The notification, however, did not mention when he has to take the charge of his office, PTI reported.
Earlier on Wednesday, Justice Muralidhar had said: "We cannot let another 1984-like event happen in this country." He asked the government -- at the centre and in Delhi -- to work together to curb unrelenting violence that hit parts of Delhi for a fourth straight day.
The judge's remarks came in a tense hearing during which videos of BJP leaders Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma, Anurag Thakur and others "insitgating violence" were played, reports say. The hearing was on a plea seeking First Information Reports (FIRs) against those who incited and participated in the violence in Northeast Delhi.
On Thursday, the death toll in the communal violence over the amended citizenship law rose to 32. "Five more deaths recorded at GTB Hospital, so death toll at that hospital has gone up to 30, taking total toll to 32," a senior Delhi Health Department official told PTI. The Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital had reported two fatalities on Wednesday.