The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a statement that each recommendation for transfer of Chief Justices and judges of the High Courts were made for cogent reasons, in compliance with the required procedure, in the better interest of administration of justice.
The statement said each of the transfer recommendations was made after “full and complete deliberations”. The recommendations were made by the Collegium unanimously.
The statement said though it was not in the interest of the institution to disclose the reasons for transfer, if found necessary, the Collegium would have no hesitation in divulging them.
The statement was issued by Supreme Court Secretary-General Sanjeev S. Kalgaonkar.
The Collegium recommendation to the government to transfer Madras High Court Chief Justice V.K. Tahilramani to Meghalaya High Court had triggered a spate of critical articles and opinions in the media. Justice Tahilramani has since then conveyed her resignation.
The statement contextualised that “certain reports relating to recommendations recently made by the Collegium regarding transfer of Chief Justices/Judges of the High Courts have appeared in the media”.
The statement from the court did not single out the proposal of the Collegium led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to transfer Justice Tahilramani, but is of a general note.
Besides the CJI, the Collegium is composed of Justices S.A. Bobde, N.V. Ramana, Arun Mishra and Rohinton F. Nariman.
In Justice Tahilramani’s case, the Collegium had asked the judge to send her response, under the Memorandum of Procedure, to its proposal to transfer her. She had subsequently, on September 2, requested the Collegium to re-consider its August 28 recommendation. On September 3, the Collegium had refused her request and reiterated its recommendation.
“The Collegium has carefully gone through the aforesaid representation and taken into consideration all relevant factors. On reconsideration, the Collegium is of the considered view that it is not possible to accede to her request. The Collegium, accordingly, reiterates its recommendation dated 28th August, 2019 for transfer of Mrs. Justice V.K. Tahilramani to Meghalaya High Court,” the Collegium resolution of September 3 read.