The Supreme Court Collegium on Wednesday recalled its September 28, 2022 recommendation to elevate Justice Jaswant Singh as Orissa High Court Chief Justice.
The Collegium’s reconsideration of its own four-month-old recommendation gives an indication that the current Orissa Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar may continue in the post at least for now.
Justice S. Muralidhar was recommended for transfer as Madras High Court Chief Justice on September 28 last year by a Supreme Court Collegium led by then Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit.
The Lalit Collegium may have intended Justice Singh to replace Justice Muralidhar as Orissa High Court Chief Justice. The separate Collegium resolutions on Justices Muralidhar and Jaswant Singh had come on the same day - September 28, 2022.
However, after a gap of four months, the Collegium led by Justice Lalit’s successor and current Chief Justice of India, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, on Wednesday proposed Justice Singh to be transferred to Tripura as Chief Justice of that High Court.
Meanwhile, there is no word about the proposed transfer of Justice Muralidhar as Madras High Court Chief Justice.
In fact, on October 11, the government had unilaterally bifurcated the Collegium file recommending the transfers of Justices Muralidhar and Pankaj Mithal. It had notified the transfer of Justice Mithal from the Chief Justiceship of Jammu and Kashmir High Court to that of Rajasthan, but had remained silent about the Collegium proposal to shift Justice Muralidhar to Madras High Court.
On December 13, Justice Mithal was recommended by the Collegium for appointment as a Supreme Court judge along with four other High Court Chief Justices. Justice Muralidhar was not one of them.