Delhi High Court judge S Muralidhar, who criticised the centre, the state government and the Delhi Police over the violence in the national capital that saw 28 dead and more than 200 injured, has been transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The notice of the transfer was issued around 11 pm on Wednesday by the central government, about two weeks after it was recommended by the Supreme Court collegium on 12th February.
“ In exercise of the power granted 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,” the notice read.
The transfer notice put out by the government doesn’t mention any time frame for when he should join the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Such transfer order normally provide 14 days time to join the new court.
The Delhi High Court Bar Association had previously denounced the transfer and urged the top court collegium to revoke the move.
Earlier, Justice Muralidhar had stated, “We cannot let another 1984 like situation in this country” and asked the centre and state government to join hands to combat violence that hit parts of Delhi.
The remark came during a tense hearing in which clips of hate speeches by four BJP leaders—Kapil Mishra, Abhay Verma, Pravesh Verma and Anurah Thakur were played. The hearing was on a plea seeking First Information Reports (FIRs) against those stirred up and took part in the violence.
The judge asked why there should not be FIRs against the four BJP lawmakers. He asked the Delhi Police chief to “seriously consider the ramifications” of not filing the FIR.
When the centre, argued that FIRs would be lodged at an “appropriate time”, Justice Muralidhar stated, What’s the appropriate time? The city is burning”.
The judged had summoned the police on Thursday with a status report. The case is now listed before the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Justice Dhirubhai Maranbhai Patel.