High Court (India)

October 03, 2019

Tamil Nadu Lawyers Condemn Smear Campaign Unleashed Against Former Madras High Court Chief Justice Tahilramani


[ By Bobby Anthony ]

Madras-High-Court

A group of lawyers from Chennai have expressed solidarity with former Madras High Court Chief Justice Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani amidst speculations of a possible Central Bureau of India (CBI) probe into her assets.

The development comes after it was reported that Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi has directed the CBI to act in accordance with the law on an Intelligence Bureau (IB) report which raised questions about alleged financial irregularities involving Tahilramani as well as her conduct in a couple of cases.

Speculations have surfaced about her alleged irregularities in the purchase of two flats in Chennai as well as her decision to dissolve a special bench at the High Court dealing with idol theft cases, which allegedly involved influential people.

It was also reported that the IB had submitted a five-page report after Tahilramani tendered her resignation to the President, after the CJI-led Collegium decision on September 3 on her transfer to the Meghalaya High Court.

Tamil Nadu Bar Council member Velmurugan who claims to represent a group of lawyers from the Madras High Court, said that the Collegium appears to be in a hurry to vindicate their stand and condemned what he called a “witch hunt”.

He said that the Collegium seems determined to protect the opaqueness in the system.

He said that it was doubtful if there would have been any talk of a CBI probe if Tahilramani had accepted her transfer to the Meghalaya High Court, adding that the Tamil Nadu Bar Council sees “grave irregularities” in her transfer to the Meghalaya High Court as Chief Justice.

After Tahilramani resigned in protest against the Supreme Court Collegium's August 28 proposal to transfer her to the Meghalaya High Court, lawyers of the Madras High Court had protested against the Collegium’s decision and boycotted court proceedings for a day demanding revocation of her transfer order.

It may be recalled that shortly after Tahilramani was transferred, the Advocates' Association of Bengaluru had urged Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to disclose the reasons behind “mysterious” transfers of judges.

The Association had expressed its concern about the opaqueness of the Supreme Collegium's decision-making process.

It questioned the sudden change of the Supreme Collegium’s mind to appoint Justice Kureshi as the Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court, modifying its earlier decision to elevate him as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

The Association also stated that the decision to transfer Justice Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani to the Meghalaya High Court, which led to her resignation, also stank of political interference.

The letter had also questioned the transfer of Justice Jayanth Patel of Karnataka High Court, which was similar to Justice Tahilramani's case.

The Association’s letter also recalled the delay in elevation of Justice K M Joseph and Justice S Bopanna to the Supreme Court and the mysterious transfer of Justice D H Waghela.



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