The President has accepted the resignation of Chief Justice of Madras High Court VK Tahilramani.
The notification issued by the Department of Justice, Law and Justice says:
“Mrs. Justice Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani has resigned from the office of the Chief Justices of the Madras High Court, after taking effect from clauses (1) to clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, (Madras). 2019 “.
Justice Tahilramani’s resignation appears to be in opposition to the Supreme Court’s motion to transfer him to the Meghalaya High Court by the collegium. He held the position as HC Judge till October 3, 2020.
The collegium, comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Bobde, Ramana, Arun Mishra and Nariman on September 3, rejected Justice Tahilramani’s request to reconsider the transfer motion, which was originally made on August 28.
The Collegium said it was “not possible to accept her request”, repeating the proposal.
Prior to the judiciary, he had worked as a public prosecutor in the Bombay High Court since 1990, and appeared in many historical cases such as the trial of Bharat Shah. As a judge, he presided over the bench which was sentenced in the Bilkis Bano case arising out of the Gujarat riots. The trial of that case was transferred from Gujarat to Maharashtra by the Supreme Court.
She also served as the Acting Chief Justice of Bombay High Court for a brief time.
The advocates of Madras High Court had launched protests over the transfer proposal, which was seen to be a move to ‘downgrade’ Justice Tahilramani.
Madras High Court, one of the chartered High Courts in India established during British times, has a sanctioned strength of 75 judges. Meghalaya High Court has at present two judges, including the Chief Justice, against a sanctioned strength of three judges.
A group of lawyers sent a representation to the Supreme Court to withdraw the transfer motion, calling it “arbitrary transfers to take away the independence of the judiciary and the trust of judges”.
He also boycotted the court proceedings on 10 September, protesting.