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16 HC judges transferred during emergency; now 24 judges transferred in one go by Collegium: Justice Bibek Chaudhuri

Justice Chaudhuri has been transferred to the Patna High Court and a notification to this effect was issued by the Central government on November 13. This was in pursuance to a recommendation by the Supreme Court Collegium on August 11.

Notably, the Supreme Court collegium has recommended transfer of 24 judges.

On Monday, Justice Chaudhari said he will become part of the history.

“Our Chief Justice (TS Sivagnanam) always tells me that I am an outspoken judge. So, when this is the last meeting with you, I must say that during the 1975 emergency, 16 judges of different High Courts were transferred in one go. After almost 48 years, now 24 judges have been transferred by the Collegium in one go. Therefore, I am one of the beginners of the change of shifting of power from the hands of the executive to the hands of the judiciary,” Justice Chaudhuri said.

The judge was speaking at his farewell function organised by the High Court.

He pointed out that by a policy decision on January 28, 1983, the Government of India had decided that the Chief Justice of each High Court must be from some other High Court.

“The government decision also mandated that one third of the judges of each High Court must be from outside. I think by our transfer this is the beginning of the introduction and implementation of that policy,” Justice Chaudhuri said.

He further said that he will be taking charge at the Patna High Court on November 24. However, he added that he would not be in a position to discharge his judicial duties for a few more days at Patna as he will have to make arrangements for his family.

“It (not discharging duties for several days) might not have happened if I and all the transferred judges had the opportunity to work in their parent High Courts,” he added.

Source: Barandbench

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