New Delhi, October 9, 2023: Former Orissa High Court Chief Justice S Muralidhar, who was removed after the Delhi riots order in 2020, has broken his silence, saying, “I don’t know which decision of mine the government was upset with and I don’t know what was in my decision that troubled the government and the government had to transfer me.” He was transferred to Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Justice Muralidhar has also said, “If there had been any other judge in his place, he too should have done the same thing, because that was the right step.”
Justice Muralidhar’s name came up after the Delhi riots, when he ordered Delhi Police to file an FIR against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra, Pravesh Verma, etc. Apart from this, Justice Muralidhar, in a midnight hearing at his home, had ordered the Delhi Police to shift the victims to safe places and protect their life and property. At the same time, orders were given to admit those injured in the riots to hospital for treatment with security.
As per Live Law, “At a conclave organised by online news portal ‘The South First’ at Bengaluru, a member in the audience asked Justice Muralidhar about the perception that his order in the Delhi riots case cost him the elevation to the Supreme Court. During the Delhi riots case, you made a late night judgment. And there are arguments that you upset the government and you did not make it to the Supreme Court. What are your views on this?” the person asked.
Justice Muralidhar replied: “I don’t know what it is that upset… Any other judge should have done the same thing. Every other colleague of mine in the Delhi High Court would have reacted the same way. I don’t think anybody else would have acted differently. So, what is that upset the government, I don’t think anybody else would have acted differently. So, what is it that upset the government, I am as clueless as you are, if at all they were upset. I only have this to say. It does not matter because many people did feel that it was the right thing to do. In fact, it was. I was later told that many lives were saved with that intervention by the Court,” Justice Muralidhar said.