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Delhi High Court judge Justice S Muralidhar, who on Wednesday questioned the Centre, the state government and the Delhi Police’s inability to curb the riots in Delhi that killed 32 people and left more than 200 injured, has been transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court by a central government order. The Collegium of the Supreme Court had recommended his transfer on February 12.

The government notification on the transfer of Justice Muralidhar, the third highest judge of the Delhi High Court, was issued around 11 pm on February 26.

The transfer notification doesn’t give any time frame to join his post, which means that he should do so immediately.

Defending the move Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad said that the transfer is a routine procedure, the government notified the collegium resolution recommending his transfer, and due process was followed. “Transfer of Hon’ble Justice Muralidhar was done pursuant to the recommendation dated 12.02.2020 of the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India. While transferring the judge consent of the judge is taken. The well-settled process have been followed,” said Prasad.

“In exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 222 of the Constitution of India, the President, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, is pleased to transfer Shri Justice S Muralidhar, Judge of the Delhi High Court, as a Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and to direct him to assume charge of his office in the Punjab and Haryana High Court,” the government notification read.

The court while hearing a petition filed by a social activist Rahul Roy for ensuring the safe passage of injured people in riot-hit areas of North-East Delhi had said, “it cannot let another 1984 to happen in the city not at least under their watch.”

Resuming the hearing at 2:15 pm on Wednesday, of the special sitting of High Court convened at 12:30 am today, the bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Anup Jairam Bhambhani said that this was the time for to reach out to people for support and assistance. “Every victim should be attended by the highest functionary so that they are assured of their safety,” said the bench.

“Keep aside your political differences and make your highest functionary to visit the victims at priority,” added Justice Muralidhar.

Judge Muralidhar had also lambasted the police for not acting during the violence.

Justice Muralidhar said the both the Central and State government leaders to go and meet people in the affected areas. “The highest Constitutional functionaries should move in Z+ security. It is time to show security is for everyone,” said Muralidhar.

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