In a shocking revelation, it has emerged that Justice AK Sikri of the Supreme Court had vehemently opposed the transfer of the Delhi High Court judge, Justice S Muralidhar last year.
A report by Indian Express said that the move to transfer Justice Muralidhar was discussed by the Supreme Court Collegium twice last year but this was deferred after Justice Sikri raised objections. The other member of the Collegium was Justice M B Lokur, who retired recently. Justice Sikri is set to retire in March this year.
The report by Indian Express said, “The move to transfer Justice Muralidhar was discussed twice in the Collegium for postings and transfers in High Courts, in December and in January.”
It added, “”But a judge in the Collegium from the Delhi High Court is said to have persuaded the CJI to not insist on it. In the second instance, a bid was made again, when the Collegium changed, after the retirement of Justice Lokur.”
Justice Muralidhar is know for delivering bold verdicts on communal violence and civil liberty. Last year, judgments authored by him had hit media headlines on several occasions. They included the arrests of intellectuals and activists including Gautam Navlakha, who was arrested by the Pune Police for his alleged links with Maoists.
The Delhi High Court’s bench comprising Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel had quashed the transit order issued by a lower court calling it unsustainable in law.
He had also famously pronounced the conviction of Uttar Pradesh PAC membefrs in the 1986 mass killings of Hashimpura. On a separate occasion, a bench of the Delhi High Court led him had convicted former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
Justice Muarlidhar was also part of the Delhi High Court bench presided by former Chief Justice AP Shah, which had struck down Section 377 IPC in 2009.
Justice Sikri was in news recently after he gave his consent to the removal of former CBI Director Alok Verma from his post. Later, it emerged that Justice Sikri had accepted a post retirement plum posting in London. Faced with huge outrage, Justice Sikri had later declined to accept the government’s offer.