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Home » Supreme Court: Recommendations to shift HC judges non-negotiable: SC collegium | India News

Supreme Court: Recommendations to shift HC judges non-negotiable: SC collegium | India News

NEW DELHI: In an unprecedented statement conveyed to the Centre on Thursday, the Supreme Court collegium said its recommendations to transfer judges, necessitated for better administration of justice, were non-negotiable and it would not hesitate to make reasons public if the situation so warranted.
Between August 28 and September 3, the collegium headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana, Arun Mishra and R F Nariman had recommended transfers of Madras HC Chief Justice V K Tahilramani to Meghalaya HC as CJ which led to her tendering her resignation, Meghalaya CJ A K Mittal to the Madras HC as CJ, Gauhati HC judge Ujjal Bhuyan to the Bombay HC, Telangana HC judge P V Sanjay Kumar to the Punjab & Haryana HC, Madhya Pradesh HC judge Vivek Agarwal to the Allahabad HC and Punjab & Haryana HC judge Amit Rawal to the Kerala HC.
The collegium’s statement came amid protests by advocates’ bodies in Madras, Gauhati and Telangana HCs over transfers of Justices Tahilramani, Bhuyan and Sanjay Kumar. There have also been media reports as well as an article by former SC judge Madan Lokur criticising the transfers and casting doubt over the procedure.
In a statement, SC secretary general Sanjeev S Kalgaonkar said, “Each of the recommendation for transfer was made for cogent reasons after complying with the required procedure in the interest of better administration of justice. Though it would not be in the interest of the institution to disclose the reasons for the transfer, if found necessary, the collegium will have no hesitation in disclosing the same.”
“Further, each of the recommendation was made after full and complete deliberations and the same was unanimously agreed upon by the collegium (members).”
Justice Tahilramani’s transfer was necessitated after she truncated her working hours in the HC. She told the media that she did not wish to comment either on her transfer or her subsequent resignation.
Interestingly, Justice Sanjay Kumar’s transfer from the Telangana HC to the Punjab & Haryana HC was required to ease difficulties faced by the Telangana HC on the administrative side. The proposal to transfer Justice Kumar was finalised by the five-member collegium after it got his consent in addition to two other SC judges, who were not part of the collegium but were from the same state, supporting the transfer. It means this transfer had the approval of seven SC judges, apart from Justice Kumar’s consent.
In the case of Justice Bhuyan, the collegium had secured his agreement to the proposal to transfer him to the Bombay HC. Only after obtaining his consent did the collegium send the recommendation.

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