Apart from the CJI, the Collegium comprises Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, S Abdul Nazeer, KM Joseph and MR Shah. In the meeting, it was agreed to transfer Justice Raja to the Rajasthan High Court. Similarly, Gujarat High Court Justice Nikhil S. Carryl and Justice A Abhishek Reddy of Telangana High Court were transferred to Patna High Court. The recommendation of the collegium is expected to be sent to the Center in the next day or two.
Lawyers in Gujarat and Telangana have opened a front against the transfer of judges. Gujarat High Court lawyers on Thursday went on an indefinite strike against the transfer of Justice Nikhil Kariel to the Patna High Court. Meanwhile, lawyers in Hyderabad started protesting against the transfer of Justice A Abhishek Reddy to Patna High Court. The lawyers have decided to boycott the court proceedings to register their protest.
The protesting lawyers of the Telangana High Court say that they do not see any valid reason for the transfer of the judge. They are seeing the apprehension of some ‘trick’ behind this. But he did not say what kind of ‘trick’.
Lawyers are agitated in Gujarat too. The Gujarat High Court Bar has said that the transfer of an “outstanding, upright and fair” judge is an “assault on the rule of law and independence of the judiciary”.
The Gujarat High Court Advocates Association (GHAA) has said it will review the ‘indefinite strike’ on Monday morning. Apart from this, the association has decided to send delegation to the CJI and other judges of the collegium.
Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Arvind Kumar held a meeting with senior lawyers in the afternoon following the ‘indefinite strike’ by lawyers on Thursday. Shortly thereafter, the lawyers’ association reiterated that the strike would continue.
In its resolution, the association said, “Such moves (judge transfer) will be strongly opposed and members of the bar will go on an indefinite strike until the issue is resolved.”
In view of the indefinite strike, GHAA has postponed the election of its president which was to be held on Friday itself.
Earlier in November 2018, the members of the GHAA had opposed the recommendation of the Supreme Court Collegium to transfer Justice Kureshi to the Bombay High Court. In 2017 too, lawyers had lodged a protest against the transfer of Justice Jayant Patel from the Karnataka High Court to the Allahabad High Court.