Supreme Court Collegium recommends transfer of Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee, who said Election Commission should be booked for murder charges

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The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the transfer of Justice Sanjib Banerjee, Chief Justice of the Madras High Court to the Meghalaya High Court.

“The Supreme Court Collegium in its meeting held on 16th September 2021 has recommended transfer of Mr. Justice Sanjib Banerjee, Chief Justice, Madras High Court, to Meghalaya High Court,” a statement from the Supreme Court of India said.

Earlier this year, Justice Banerjee had come down heavily on the Election Commission of India, holding the national poll body responsible for the latest wave of the pandemic. Justice Banerjee had even gone to the extent of saying that the EC officers should be booked under murder charges for allowing big rallies during the assembly polls in five states.

He had said, “Your institution is singularly responsible for the second wave of COVID-19….Were you on another planet when the election rallies were held?”

The Election Commission had allowed the assembly polls to be held in eight stages spread over 35 days in West Bengal, where the COVID-19 pandemic has begun to wreak havoc. Politicians including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah were seen addressing election rallies and leading roadshows in defiance of COVID-19 protocol.

The Election Commission of India had moved the Supreme Court against the scathing observations made by Justice Banerjee for its role in the spread of the pandemic. The national poll body, according to the Bar and Bench website, had also sought directions to be issued to media houses to not report on oral observations made during court proceedings.