Justice Tahilramani’s controversial resignation in protest of her transfer to Meghalaya High Court was accepted by President Ramnath Kovind on Friday. Another Justice Vineet Kothari was appointed as the acting Chief Justice to the Madras High Court.
The Supreme Court collegium had in August ordered transfer of Judges between Madras HC and Meghalaya HC. As per the order of the collegium, Justice AK Mittal, current Chief Justice of Meghalaya Court was supposed to replace Justice Tahilramani’s position in the Madras HC while she was transferred to replace Justice AK Mittal’s position in Meghalaya High Court.
The transfer orders of the collegium raked up a controversy across the nation as Madras HC is one of the oldest High Courts in the country and the fourth largest one in terms of the number of Judges. While the Meghalaya High Court was established only in 2013 with barely three judges.
Even on Justice Tahilramani’s request to reconsider its decision the collegium panel refused to do so. It is then that the senior judge Tahilramani submitted her resignation in protest of the unfair transfer which sent ripples across the judicial fraternity as it is very rare for senior most judge to resign despite having years of service.
Justice Tahilramani was appointed as the Chief Justice of Madras High Court in August 2018. Earlier, she served as acting Chief Justice of Bombay High Court thrice during 2015-2017.
The Senior Judge had presided over many controversial cases during her tenure at the Bombay High Court. In May 2017, she upheld the life sentence for 11 convicts in the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and murder of her family during Gujarat Riots in 2002.