As the protest reaches Day 2, the Madras High Court Bar Council is going to send a memorandum to President of India Ram Nath Kovind and the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi regarding the transfer of the Chief Justice of Madras High Court, Vijaya K Tahilramani. According to the bar council members, they will reach out to the higher authorities as the transfer needs to be recalled. Justice Tahilramani was elevated as the Chief Justice of Madras High Court in August 2018 and was due to retire from service in October 2020.
The Supreme Court collegium, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had made a decision to transfer Justice Tahilramani to Meghalaya High Court 'in the interest of better administration of justice'. Further, the Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court Ajay Kumar to be transferred to the Madras High Court. On September 3, Justice Tahilramani requested the Supreme Court collegium to reconsider the transfer decision. However, the request was turned down after which she sent in her resignation. Her resignation led to the lawyers across the State to start a protest in order to seek reconsideration into the transfer order.
The bar association members as well as the Advocates Association of the Madras High Court started a protest outside the Madras HC on Monday. According to the protesting lawyers, the transfer order is not legal or transparent.
While speaking to Republic TV, a member of the Bar Council said, "Eventually our demand is that the transfer needs to be recalled and we have to make it very transparent as to why this has happened. So to insist that, we are going to meet the CJI and if possible, also meet the President of India to recall this transfer." He has further requested the collegium system to be more transparent.
While speaking more about the protest, the member said, "This to express our solidarity for the Honorable Chief Justice Tahilramani which has been widely accepted by the entire bar."
He also stated that nearly 70,000 lawyers have boycotted on Tuesday. Further, he said, "As far as Madras High Court is concerned, we will be submitting a memorandum to the CJI and President of India to recall the transfer and to retain her back in Madras High Court." The bar council has also requested the President to not accept Tahilramani's resignation in the larger interests of judiciary.
The Chief Justice of Madras High Court, Justice Vijaya K Tahilramani, has been the senior-most High Court judge in the country with an experience of 18 years. Tahilramani was appointed as the Chief Justice of Madras High Court on August 8 last year. She has presided over a court of 75 judges and administered a subordinate judiciary in 32 districts in addition to the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Justice Tahilramani has denied to make any statements regarding the collegium's decision or her resignation.