New Delhi, Feb 27, 2020: After Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s apparent jibe over the transfer of Delhi High Court Judge S Muralidhar, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad hit back, saying that "by politicising a routine transfer, Congress has yet again displayed its scant regard for the judiciary", NDTV reported.
“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,” Prasad said in a tweet.
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter, saying, "Remembering the brave Judge Loya, who wasn’t transferred."
Days after the Supreme Court made the recommendation, Justice S Muralidhar was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The judge was hearing the Delhi violence case and the late evening notification came on the day when a bench headed by him expressed "anguish" over the Delhi Police’s failure to register FIRs against alleged hate speeches by three BJP leaders.
A notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice stated that the President took the decision after consulting the Chief Justice of India.
The notification, however, does not mention when he has to take the charge of his office.
Rahul Gandhi’s sister and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also attacked the government over the transfer of the judge, saying the Centre’s attempts to "muzzle justice" and break people’s faith in an upright judiciary are deplorable.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the judge was transferred by the government to save BJP leaders in the Delhi violence case.
"It seems those doing justice in the country will now not be spared... (It’s) classic ’hit-and-run’ injustice by the BJP government, its politics of revenge has been exposed," Surjewala said.
The Reference to Judge BH Loya
In his tweet, Rahul Gandhi was referring to special CBI judge BH Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case and died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on 1 December, when he was visiting the city to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter.
There were demands from some quarters that the death should be probed as the judge was allegedly under a lot of pressure.
But the Supreme Court rejected multiple pleas for independent probe, holding that Loya died of natural causes.