The Advocates’ Association of Bengaluru on Tuesday wrote a letter to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi seeking transparency in the transfer of Judges.
The letter came in the backdrop of the resignation tendered by the Madras High Court Chief Justice V K Tahilramani following a transfer order issued to her by the Supreme Court Collegium. In a similar instance, the order pertaining to the transfer of Justice Akil Kureshi was recently modified by the Collegium.
“When judges of constitutional courts resign under mysterious circumstances, or their transfer or elevation as Chief Justice is altered, it shakes the confidence of the public in the judicial system and throws up several uncomfortable questions to those in the decision-making body of the higher judiciary,” the letter stated.
The Association asked Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi to disclose the reasons behind the transfer of the two senior-most judges.
The advocates raked up their concern over the opaqueness of Collegium’s decision-making process and asserted that the sudden change in the Kureshi’s order appeared to be at the ‘dictate’ of the Central government.
Justice Kureshi was first recommended to be appointed as Madhya Pradesh Chief Justice though later he was recommended as the Chief Justice of Tripura High Court.
“The Central government, for political consideration, was indisposed to Justice Qureshi’s appointment at Madhya Pradesh,” the letter further contended.
The Association said that the Collegium is failing to act independently without “fear and favour”.
It said that the decision to transfer Justice Tahilramani’s “stank of political interference”.
“The resignation of the Chief Justice is not a standalone event…one cannot lose sight of the fact that Justice Jayanth Patel of the Karnataka High Court had also resigned similarly,” it stated in the letter.
The advocates also alleged that Justice K M Joseph, D H Waghela and few others were “treated in a similar fashion”.