Friday, December 8, 2023

“You have touched many”: Delhi HC Justice S. Muralidhar gets a heartwarming send-off

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday bid farewell to Justice Dr. S Muralidhar. Justice Muralidhar has been transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Justice Dhirubhai Naranbhai Patel, former Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University Upendra Baxi, senior advocates Maninder Acharya and Rahul Mehra were present during the full court reference in Court 1 of the Delhi High Court.

Earlier today, the Delhi High Court Bar Association also organised a farewell high tea for Justice Muralidhar which was attended by hundreds of lawyers.

“When justice has to triumph, it will triumph … be with the truth – justice will be done. When justice has to triumph, it will triumph … be with the truth – justice will be done,” Justice Muralidhar said during his farewell speech.

Justice Patel spoke about Justice Muralidhar’s contribution in the Bhopal Gas Disaster case in which he famously said, “Hang them now, Hang them not.”

Senior Advocate Maninder Acharya while addressing the court said, “I could not help being overwhelmed appearing before Justice Muralidhar. Raj Goparia case in which the matter was decided against me but the experience was memorable.”

“Your lordship is going to take charge of Punjab and Haryana HC, I on behalf of UOI bid farewell. Your fingerprint will stay with us, you have touched many,” he added.

Advocate Rahul Mehra highlighted the lessons that learnt from Justice Muralidhar.

“As officer of the court our duty is not to shine our career but to prevail rule of law, That is what Justice Muralidhar taught,” he said.

“We will take your transfer as will of god. Our loss is their gain. Singing Aekla Chalo Re for him. It means no one answers your call, walk alone. Thank you for teaching us, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going…,” he added.

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.

“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.

Justice Muralidhar’s transfer stirred a controversy as his transfer notification came after a day when he questioned the Centre, the state government and the Delhi Police’s inability to curb the riots in Delhi in which at least 48 people were killed and hundreds injured.

The Collegium of the Supreme Court had recommended his transfer on February 12. The Delhi High Court Bar association opposing his transfer had called for one-day strike on February 20.

Appointed as a judge of the Delhi High Court in 2006, Justice Muralidharan pronounced several landmark judgments, such as Section 377 verdict, Hashimpura massacre, 1984 anti-Sikh riots accused Sajjan Kumar verdict and the Balmiki community.

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