The Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud on Wednesday reiterated its recommendation to transfer Manipur High Court judge Justice M V Muralidaran to the Calcutta High Court for better administration of justice, rejecting his request to either shift him to his parent Madras High Court or not transfer him at all.
A bench of justice Muralidharan had on March 27 ordered the Manipur government to consider a representation by a Meitei organisation seeking scheduled tribe status, which was said to be the immediate trigger for the festering ethnic conflict in the state with Meiteis living in the valley on one side and Kuki and other tribals inhabiting the hills on the other.
Justice Muralidharan had directed the state government to consider the representation of ST status to the majority Meitei community and write to the Centre within four weeks.
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The Collegium, also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai and Surya Kant, refused Justice Muralidaran's request to transfer him to Madras High Court or permit him to continue to function in the High Court of Manipur instead of transferring him to Calcutta. "On October 9, 2023, the Collegium proposed the transfer of Mr Justice M V Muralidaran, Judge, High Court of Manipur [PHC: Madras], to the High Court at Calcutta, for better administration of justice.
"In terms of the Memorandum of Procedure, we have consulted one of the judges of the Supreme Court who, being conversant with the affairs of the High Court of Manipur, is in a position to offer views on the proposed transfer," it said.
The collegium said it considered the requests made by Justice Muralidaran but did not find merit in them. "The collegium, therefore, resolves to reiterate its recommendation dated October 9, 2023, to transfer Mr Justice M V Muralidaran to the High Court at Calcutta," it said.
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