Farewell Justice

Justice Muralidhar (58) received a grand farewell on Thursday from a huge gathering including judges and lawyers amid big rounds of applause.  (Photo: Twitter/pbhushan1)

Raniya Zulaikha

Owing to the The Collegium’s recommendation to transfer Justice Muralidhar, issued last week, The Delhi High Court Bar Association bestowed a farewell to him, here on wednesday. Justice Muralidhar, honourable judge of DHC since 2006, was been observed as an eminent decision maker by the chief justice DN Patel at the farewell ceremony.

When it was his turn to reply, Justice Muralidhar remarked that, “Over the years, I have realised that it is not enough for lawyers and judges to speak about constitutional values. It is essential to imbibe them. There are judges in the audience and elsewhere in Delhi and India who have helped me in various ways in traversing the difficult path of judgeship…I find it hard to describe the unstinting affection I have received from you, I cannot thank you enough”.

When asked whether the Judges are under pressure, Justice replied that not unless they acknowledge it and also spoke of how he figures a better future for the society.

“The key word here is fraternity…As Babasaheb Ambedkar put it, without fraternity, ‘equality and liberty would not be deeper than coats of paint,” he added.

Justice Muralidhar clearly sorts a distinction between neutrality and impartiality.

“Impartiality is non-compromisable for a judge. It is an essential attribute. On neutrality, the Constitution in my view requires the judge at all the levels to be able to discern the weak from the strong litigant in terms of their capacities to access justice and lean on the side of the vulnerable in order to attempt to achieve equality of arms,” justice says.

“Justice Muralidhar has been one of those judges who had a practical approach to everything,” said a lawyer who had great experience with him over these years who wants to remain anonymous.

“Once a lawyer was presenting his case which was related to SC/ST Atrocities, the lawyer was making his arguments denying everything. Justice Muralidhar told in the court that we are still living in a society where a Dalit needs protection from police so that the baraat procession can be done on a mare and the police had to draw a map of baraat procession. This was out of context but the idea of behind such statement in court showed that he was aware and acknowledging the Atrocities happening across the country,” He added.

Anjali, a law student, commented that she has a trouble with not just Justice Muralidhar’s transfer but being it overnight.

“Justice being even sat at the court at 1 am regarding the medical support to the relief areas should be addressed as the epitome of people’s judge,” she told Maktoob.

On Wednesday, the Bench headed by Justice Muralidhar had made significant observations regarding the Delhi Police’s handling of the anti-Muslim violence that erupted in the capital.

While issuing a number of directions, the Bench urged the authorities to seriously consider the consequences of the delay in registering FIRs against hate speeches delivered by members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The recent move to transfer Justice S. Muralidhar to the Punjab and Haryana High Court from the Delhi High Court has created a sudden outburst, that the collegium’s recommendation even had been met with opposition by the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA). Amidst up in arms against the said decision of the Supreme Court collegium, The Full Court Reference ended with a standing ovation to Justice Muralidhar from the Bar as well as the Bench.

Raniya Zulaikha studies BA Political Science at University of Delhi and she had been at the forefront of students protests against Citizenship Amendment Act since it began.

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