The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Lawyers oppose judge transfer

Guwahati, Nov. 25: The Gauhati High Court Bar Association has taken exception to the transfer of an allegedly scam-tainted judge to the only high court in the Northeast.

Justice Amar Bir Singh Gill, who was with the Punjab and Haryana High Court before being transferred here, is one of the three judges under the scanner for their alleged complicity with the accused in the Punjab Public Service Commission recruitment scandal.

Members of the bar association today held an extraordinary general body meeting to discuss the issue. Sources said the lawyers decided to stage a sit-in demonstration in front of the Gauhati High Court on Wednesday and file complaints against the new appointment with the President, the Chief Justice of India and the Union law minister.

The secretary-general of the bar association, Apurba Kumar Sharma, said Gill’s presence would be “detrimental” to the health of the region’s judicial system.

“The transfer, if implemented, will be detrimental to public interest inasmuch as there has already been widespread resentment among the public in general and the legal fraternity in Punjab,” he said.

Sharma said bar members who attended the meeting — presided over by Arup Borbora — were unanimous in the view that all judges of the Gauhati High Court should be men of proven integrity, ability and administrative capacity. “In view of the allegations about his alleged involvement in the scam, the bar observed that the transfer of Gill to the Gauhati High Court will not be in the interests of justice,” he said.

The names of three judges — the other two are Justice M.L. Singhal and Justice Mehtab Singh Gill — had reportedly figured in the confessional statements of former Punjab Public Service Commission chairman Ravinderpal Singh Sidhu’s alleged touts.

Justice Amar Bir Singh Gill and Justice Singhal were accused of helping out their daughters in the selection process conducted by the commission, while Justice Mehtab Singh Gill was charged with recommending the name of the son of a judge belonging to another high court. All three denied the allegations.

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