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Press Release: AIBA criticises the denigration of Collegium by V.K. Tahilramani

Team SoOLEGAL 11 Sep 2019 4:27pm

Press Release: AIBA criticises the denigration of Collegium by V.K. Tahilramani

With the ongoing controversy regarding the decision of the Supreme Court Collegium dated 3.9.2019 to transfer the Madras High Court Chief Justice V.K. Tahilramani to the Meghalaya High Court followed by her tendering resignation from service on 06.09.2019, the All India Bar Association (AIBA) has expressed their concerns about the present situation with a press release today on 11 September 2019.


The AIBA has suggested that the Chief Justice V.K. Tahilramani should have respected the collective wisdom of the collegium of the Supreme Court especially when no allegation of any malafide has been leveled by her. The letter enunciated that AIBA has spearheaded several agitations in the past and scored spectacular victories for the legal fraternity. But it has always conducted its activities with utmost dignity, not forgetting the fact that leveling unsubstantial allegations against the judiciary will weaken the edifice of the judicial structure which is the last resort and first option of any law-abiding citizen.


The letter states that the Chief Justice V.K. Tahilramani should not forget that she had all along benefitted from decisions of the collegium of Supreme Court as she was elevated as Judge of the Bombay High Court in 2001 and was further elevated as Acting Chief Justice of the same High Court on three occasions. Thereafter, Chief Justice V.K. Tahilramani was further elevated as full-fledged Chief Justice of Madras High Court on 12.08.2018. Having benefitted from these decisions of the collegium, it would be unfair for anyone to even imagine that there could be ulterior reasons for her transfer to Meghalaya High Court.


The letter further highlights that Chief Justice V.K. Tahilramani has been given a fairly long term of more than 13 months at the helm of Madras High Court before the present transfer to Meghalaya High Court was issued. Therefore, it is due to some unassailable reason, as indicated in the collegium’s decision dated 3.9.2019 that Chief Justice V.K. Tahilramani is being posted to Meghalaya High Court.


The AIBA has laid emphasis on the point that India is a union and all it's High Courts enjoy equal status under the Constitution. Therefore, discriminating one High Court against the other on the basis of location or size would be anathema to the constitutional scheme of things. If all judges and Chief Justices refuse to go to smaller High Courts on such misplaced attitude, then there would not be any judge available to function from out of such places.


The letter released by AIBA through its Chairman Dr. Adish C Aggarwala suggested that the act of resigning from her services by Chief Justice V.K. Tahilramani amounts to the denigration of collegium and she ought to have sportingly accepted the offer and proceeded to assume charge in the Meghalaya High Court, without discriminating the High Court and the people coming under its jurisdiction.


The AIBA also criticized vested elements who are spreading false rumors on social media that her transfer is a reaction to her judgment dated 4.5.2017, as High Court Judge, in the Bilkis Bano case that concerned the Gujarat riots of 2002 and labeled the said allegation as unfounded because after the said judgment, she was appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Bombay High Court for 9 months and thereafter as a full-fledged Chief Justice of Madras High Court on 12.08.2018.


The AIBA in its letter released today has also requested the Central Government to take forward the recommendation of the Supreme Court and notify the transfer of incumbent Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court, paving way for his quick assumption of charge as Chief Justice of Madras High Court.


The Collegium of Supreme Court had recommended the transfer of Madras High Court Chief Justice V.K. Tahilramani to Meghalaya High Court and Meghalaya High Court Chief Justice A.K. Mittal to Madras HC. Chief Justice V.K. Tahilramani has just one year of service before her superannuation in September 2020.


Tahilramani in the meanwhile has decided to go on leave to protest against the transfer and also tendered her resignation to President Ram Nath Kovind and Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.


The lawyers of Madras High Court Bar Association have also been staging protests and strikes against the transfer of Tahilramani.


Tagged: AIBA   Supreme Court   Collegium   Madras High Court   VK Tahilramani  
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