Delhi Bar secy says HC’s Kohinoor is going a few 100 km away.
New Delhi: Justice S. Muralidhar, whose transfer after his severe criticism of the police at a hearing on Northeast Delhi violence sparked a political controversy, was compared to the “Kohinoor” in a moving farewell at the high court on Thursday.
At the ceremony, Delhi high court Chief Justice D.N. Patel said, “We are losing a most eminent judge who can discuss any topic of law and decide any type of matter.”
The order for Justice Muralidhar’s transfer to the Punjab and Haryana high court came on February 26, hours after he raised questions on the Delhi police’s inaction on hate speeches by BJP leaders and in the violence that left 48 dead.
The Union government had said the judge’s transfer was routine, recommended by the Supreme Court collegium on February 12, and his consent had been taken as is the norm.
A controversy erupted after the notification of Justice Muralidhar’s transfer was issued by the Centre on the night of February 26—the day a bench headed by him had pulled up the Delhi police for failing to register FIRs against three BJP leaders, Union minister Anurag Thakur, Delhi MP Parvesh Verma, and former city minister Kapil Mishra, for their alleged hate speeches.
At the farewell ceremony, Delhi High Court Bar Association secretary Abhijat said, “The Kohinoor of the high court will be going a few 100 km away. The ceremony saw many lawyers in their black robes line a giant hall and stairways, with senior judges seated around tables at the centre.”
Addressing the gathering, Justice Muralidhar said, “When justice has to triumph, it will triumph. Be with the truth, justice will be done.”
He said he had been informed about his transfer on February 17 by Supreme Court Chief Justice S.A. Bobde.
He said he had replied that if he was going to be transferred anyway, he had no problem going to the Punjab and Haryana high court.
Justice Muralidhar said that law was not his first choice as a career.
“I was not meant to do law. I used to play cricket with the son of a lawyer and I used to leave my cricket bag in his chambers,” he said.
Justice Muralidhar also shared a joke that demonstrated his love for puns.
“Last week, a young lawyer came and asked me—Sir, do you dye? I couldn’t let go of an opportunity (to pun). I said everybody has to, one day or the other. Right now I am ready to take charge at the Punjab and Haryana high court,” he said.