Former Orissa HC Chief Justice S Muralidhar Appears As Senior Advocate Before SC

Former Orissa High Court chief justice S Muralidhar appeared as a senior advocate before the Supreme Court on Monday to defend a retired judicial officer in a case related to adverse remarks issued against her by the Madras High Court.

The top court has designated Justice Muralidhar as a senior advocate after the decision of a full court of judges on October 16.

Justice Muralidhar appeared before Chief Justice DY Chandrachud’s court.

As the former judge appeared for the judicial officer, the CJI said in a lighter vein,” I can’t say brother Muralidhar, but I will say Mr Muralidhar now.”

The apex court recorded advocate Muralidhar’s submission that the judicial officer has an “unblemished” record and permitted his client to submit a written response to the adverse remarks.

As the proceedings concluded, one of the lawyers in the court praised Justice Muralidhar and said,” He is an asset whichever side he appears for.”

Under Article 220 of the Constitution, a former high court judge can practise as a lawyer only in the Supreme Court or high courts where they have not served as a judge.

Justice Muralidhar retired as the chief justice of the Orissa High Court on August 7. He also served as a judge of the high courts of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana.

Born on August 8, 1961, Justice Muralidhar was enrolled as an advocate on September 12, 1984, practised law in courts in Chennai, and later shifted to Delhi.

He was initially appointed as a judge of the Delhi High Court in May 2006 and was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on March 6, 2020.

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A controversy had erupted when the central government issued the notification for his transfer to the Punjab and Haryana High Court close to midnight on February 26, 2020, the day a bench headed by him pulled up the Delhi Police for failing to register FIRs against three BJP leaders for their alleged hate speeches which purportedly led to communal strife in northeast Delhi.

Justice Muralidhar, however, cleared the air over the controversy, saying he had replied to the then Chief Justice of India S A Bobde’s communication about whether he was fine with the proposal. He said he told Justice Bobde he had no objection to his transfer.

Justice Muralidhar took oath as the chief justice of the Orissa High Court on January 4, 2021.

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