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The Supreme Court Collegium has turned down a request by Justice VK Tahilramani to reconsider her transfer from the Madras High Court to the Meghalaya High Court as well as similar requests by Justices Amit Rawal and Vivek Agarwal of the Punjab and Haryana and Madhya Pradesh High Courts to Allahabad and Kerala High Courts respectively.

Last week, the SC collegium had decided to transfer Justice Tahilramani as the chief justice of Meghalaya High Court, the country’s smallest high court with a sanctioned strength of three judges including the chief justice. The decision was taken at a recent meeting of the collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi,. The decision to transfer Justice Tahilramani is surprising, given that she is one of the senior-most high court judges in the country and is among the only two women judges who are heading high courts at the moment.The other woman chief justice is Gita Mittal of Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

Justice Tahilramani was appointed the Madras High Court chief justice on August 8, 2018, transferred from Bombay High Court where she was the acting chief justice between 2015 and 2017 in three stints.

While at Bombay High Court, Justice Tahilramani had on May 7, 2017, upheld the conviction and life imprisonment of 11 people in the post-Gujarat riots Bilkis Bano gang-rape case, while setting aside the acquittal of seven persons, including policemen and doctors.

–India Legal Bureau

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