Questions for SC: Chief Justice Banerjee’s transfer from Madras HC again points to the opaqueness of collegium

News: Supreme Court collegium recommended the transfer of the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court to the Meghalaya High Court. Chennai bar commission has in fact raised many valid questions.

Read here: A routine matter or a punishment post?
What are the questions raised by the Chennai bar commission?

The bar raised questions like:

-What is the rationale behind transferring a judge heading a High Court with a sanctioned strength of 75 judges to a much smaller High Court with four judges.
-Whether all the procedural checks in the memorandum of procedure were followed.

What does the Memorandum of Procedure say?

Paragraph 25.2 of MoP: CJI should ascertain the views of Supreme Court judges knowledgeable of High Court concerned.

Paragraph 25.3 of MoP: CJI and four senior-most SC judges should seek the response of the judge to be transferred and his preferred choices of destination.

What should be the way forward?

The Supreme Court had already struck down NJAC citing independence of the judiciary. But this independence should also ensure accountability. So, the reason and rationale behind the transfer need to be disclosed to the public.

Source: This post is based on the article “Questions for SC: Chief Justice Banerjee’s transfer from Madras HC again points to the opaqueness of collegium” published in Times of India on 15th November 2021.

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