Justice VK Tahilramani, who delivered landmark judgment in Bilkis Bano case, resigns after Supreme Court transfers her to smaller High Court


In a huge development, Madras High Court Chief Justice VK Tahilramani has reportedly resigned and she refused to accept her transfer to the Meghalaya High Court as Chief Justice. A report by NDTV said that Justice Tahilramani told her colleagues at a dinner with Madras High Court judges that she was resigning.

The Supreme Court Collegium had transferred Justice Tahilramani to the Meghalaya High  Court, which has a strength of just two judges while the Madras High Court had a sanctioned strength of 75 judges.

Justice Tahilramani is best known for her landmark judgment in the Bilkis Bano case in the infamous Gujarat riots. The trial of that case was transferred to Maharashtra from Gujarat by the Supreme Court.

Justice Tahilramani had requested the Collegium to reconsider its decision. But, the Supreme Court Collegium’s resolution dated 3 September read on her transfer, “The collegium has carefully gone through the aforesaid representation and taken into consideration all relevant factors. On reconsideration, the collegium is of the considered view that it is not possible to accede to her request.

It further added, “The collegium, accordingly, reiterates its recommendation dated August 28, 2019 for transfer of Justice VK Tahilramani to Meghalaya High Court.”

Experts believe that it’s quite unusual for a Chief Justice of a bigger high court to be unceremoniously transferred to a smaller high court.

The Collegium headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has transferred the Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court, Justice AK Mittal to replace Justice Tahilramani in the Madras High Court. Justice Mittal is junior to Justice Tahilramani by three years.