Hundreds of advocates on Monday staged a protest rally inside the Madras High Court complex against the transfer of Chief Justice Vijaya Kamalesh Tahilramani to Meghalaya which they said was a demotion.
Justice Tahilramani, who sent in her resignation letter to President Ram Nath Kovind with a copy to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Saturday after the Supreme Court collegium comprising Justice Gogoi and four other seniormost judges, rejected her request to reconsider the decision.
Justice Tahilramani skipped court on Monday and this prompted lawyers to come out in protest against her transfer, from one of the fourth largest courts to the smallest high court in the country. Giving lie to the collegium’s claim that the decision was based on the feedback from the Madras High Court, lawyers belonging to the Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) came out in the open to condemn the transfer. The MHAA is meeting on Tuesday to decide on formal court boycott.
The MHAA president Ilango said that an unprecedented situation has arisen with the CJ resigning against her transfer. He said:” A majority of our members want to show their solidarity with the CJ and ask the collegiums to reconsider the transfer decision”.
The Madurai bar is also planning protests in a parallel development senior Supreme Court judge R Bhanumathi is understood to have written to the Chief Justice against the collegium to elevate a high court chief justice to the apex court overlooking all –India seniority.
Bhanumathi,who was earlier high court of the Madras High Court, has written to the CJI, objecting to the collegium's decision to appoint Himachal Pradesh HC Chief Justice V Ramasubramanian to the Supreme Court overlooking Manipur High Court Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar, who is senior.
Justice Banumathi is not a member of the SC collegium but by convention the CJI seeks the opinion of an SC judge hailing from the same parent high court as the judge is considered for elevation.
Justices Banumathi, Sudhakar and Ramasubramanian were all judges of the Madras High Court before their promotion to other courts.