The Madras High Court has been moved challenging the Supreme Court Collegium’s proposal to transfer Chief Justice V K Tahilramani to Meghalaya High Court on the basis that the transfer can be subjected to judicial review as it is an administrative order.
However, the bench while declining the request held that it will decide on the maintainability of the plea at the first place once it is listed by the Court Registry.
Advocate M Karpagam who had moved the plea had contended, “It is only an administrative order passed by the Collegium and as such, Article 13 (1) of the Constitution provides for judicial review of an administrative action.”
“There is no express provision in the Constitution for transferring the Chief Justice of a High Court to another High Court, though the provisions stipulate for transfer of other judges (other than Chief Justice of High Court) from one High Court to another High Court,” she said.
Also, while seeking the Collegium to disclose the reasons for the transfer, Advocate Karpagam also submitted that the transfer should not have been done without Chief Justice Tahilramani’s consent.
“Administrative law stipulates that, for any transfer order, the ‘reason is one of the core principles and it should be for public interest’. Neither in the transfer order nor in the rejection order, no specific reason has been pointed out by the Collegium,” the plea added.
Based on this, she sought the Court to issue directions to restrain the implementation of the Supreme Court Collegium’s resolution transferring Chief Justice Tahilramani. The plea is expected to be taken up for hearing on Thursday.
The proposal to transfer Chief Justice Tahilramani to the Meghalaya High Court had led to an uproar with advocates part of the various advocates association across the State including Madras Bar Association and the Madras High Court Advocates Association resorting to a one-day boycott on September 10.
It may be noted that Chief Justice Tahilramani unwilling to accept the transfer submitted her resignation on September 7. However, following protests and various forums seeking the reasons behind the transfer, the Collegium issued a statement on September 12 revealing that it has no hesitation in disclosing reasons for transfer of judges, if found necessary.