The Supreme Court collegium has recommended to the Centre the transfer of Andhra Pradesh High Court Chief Justice J.K. Maheshwari, days after chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy complained to the Chief Justice of India about the state’s top judiciary.
Justice Maheshwari has been recommended for transfer to Sikkim High Court as its chief justice.
The Andhra Pradesh chief minister had on October 6 taken the unprecedented step of writing to Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde alleging that the state high court was being used to “destabilise and topple” his democratically elected government.
In the same letter, Jagan had alleged that Supreme Court judge Justice N.V. Ramana, the next in line to be the Chief Justice of India, had favoured the chief minister’s political rival and Telugu Desam Party leader N. Chandrababu Naidu and the judge’s daughters had purchased land under questionable circumstances in Amravati before the site was chosen for the new Andhra capital.
The same day, October 6, Jagan had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss Andhra affairs.
Apart from CJI Bobde, Justices Ramana, R.F. Nariman, U.U. Lalit and A.M. Khanwilkar are part of the five-judge collegium.
The collegium headed by CJI Bobde, in its meeting held on December 14, also recommended the elevation of five high court judges as chief justices of different high courts. Justice Dr S. Muralidhar, a notification transferring whom to Punjab and Haryana High Court close to midnight of February 26 had created a controversy, is among those promoted. Justice Muralidhar has been recommended to be elevated as chief justice of Orissa High Court.