New Delhi: Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who pulled up the Delhi police for inaction during the riots in Northeast Delhi, was transferred by the Ministry of Law and Justice to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday.
"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 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," read a notification of the Law Ministry released on Wednesday.
Recently, the Supreme Court Collegium had recommended the transfer of Justice Muralidhar to the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Two more judges — Justice Ranjit V More and Justice Ravi Malimath — were also transferred to Bombay and Karnataka respectively.
A copy of the transfer order
Earlier in the day, a high court bench headed by Justice Muralidhar passed a series of orders with regard to the violence in North-East Delhi and said that "another 1984-like situation cannot be allowed to happen in the city under its watch."
"We have to be alert," said Muralidhar as he ordered safe passage for the collection of the bodies of the deceased, setting up of adequate number of helplines and shelter to people who have been displaced, among other things.
"We propose to appoint an amicus curie to coordinate between the victims and the agencies to ensure that prompt action is taken," the court added.
The division bench also comprising Justice Talwant Singh ruled, "It is extremely unfortunate what has happened. This is the time to show that Z security works for everybody. Otherwise, we cannot restore peace. Every victim should be visited by higher functionaries," the HC bench said.
As many as 27 people have lost their lives while over 200 have been injured after clashes between pro and anti-CAA protesters turned violent in North-East Delhi.
The court said that confidence-building measures should be taken and families must be assured that the law will work for them.
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) had on February 20 announced a strike against Muralidhar's transfer.
In a resolution, the DHCBA had expressed its "shock, dismay and outrage" at the decision to recommend the transfer of "one of the finest judges to have adorned the bench."
The resolution stated, "Such transfers are not only detrimental to our noble institution but also tend to erode and dislodge the faith of the common litigant in the justice dispensation system. Such transfers also impede free and fair delivery of justice by the honourable bench."