SC Grants Senior Designation to Former Chief Justice of Orissa HC Justice S Muralidhar

The Supreme Court has designated former Orissa High Court chief justice S Muralidhar as senior advocate of the apex court.

The decision was taken in a full court meeting of the Supreme Court judges on October 16, court sources said.

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 and 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 later transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on March 6, 2020.

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 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.

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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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