The boycott call by various advocates associations, including the Madras Bar Association (MBA) and Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA), condemning the transfer of Madras High Court (MHC) Chief Justice VK Tahilramani to the Meghalaya High Court, was successful, with advocates abstaining from attending court on Tuesday.
Incidentally, the boycott which had come nearly three years after the CISF was pressed into service, garnered quite an impact with the court corridors and halls presenting a deserted picture. While the courts were attended only by government advocates and hearing in the cases adjourned to another day, some advocates were seen without their gowns.
Earlier, advocates resorted to a brief protest near the Aavin gate and raised slogans condemning the CJ’s transfer and seeking to withdraw it. Work at all the lower courts in Chennai also remained affected with advocates heeding to the boycott call.
While former Judges like Justice K Chandru criticised Tahilramani for resisting the transfer on the basis that no HC is lesser than another, advocates on boycott feel that a transfer without offering proper reasons would only trickle down to it being a punishment.
Advocate M Radhakrishnan, said, “Transfer of a Chief Justice from one High Court to another should not be resorted to since HC judges become Chief Justice only on a transfer from another High Court. Hence, transfer of Chief Justices to other high courts without their permission is nothing but penal action irrespective of whether the High Court is big or small.”
The protest and boycott that has emanated is mainly owing to the collegium refusing to give out the reasons that necessitated Tahilramani’s transfer to a smaller court. Justice Tahilramani has refused to comment on either her transfer or her resignation.