Second Madras HC Judge Transferred In 2 Days

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New Delhi, Mar 13 (UNI) A second Madras High Court Judge was transferred today-- to Orissa High Court-- a day after the transfer of a brother judge whose confirmation has been questioned before the Supreme Court.

President Pratibha Patil gave Madras High Court Judge S R Singharavelu until March 26 to assume charge as Judge of Orissa High Court, a Law and Justice Ministry announcement said.

''After consultation with'' India's Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Patil directed Justice Singharavelu ''to assume charge of the office of the Judge of the Orissa High Court on or before 26th March.'' Yesterday, the Ministry announced that President Patil gave Madras High Court Judge S Ashok Kumar until March 25 to assume charge as Judge of Andhra Pradesh High Court.

Justice Kumar's transfer came with the government in the midst of filing in the apex court its memo of procedure for permanent appointment of judges on probation or Additional Judges.

The government has been directed by an apex court Bench-- Justices Arijit Pasayat and P Sathasivam-- to file the memo by April 10.

Justice Kumar's confirmation was challenged by former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan saying that in recommending it, the Chief Justice of India deviated from norms requiring consultation with fellow apex court judges.

Justice Kumar was one of eight Additional Judges appointed to Madras High Court in April 2003 whose services were extended beyond the customary two year term. He was confirmed in February 2007.

Justice Singharavelu was also appointed Additional Judge in April 2003 but confirmed as a Judge in July 2005 after a four month extension effected in April 2005.

There was no word if the two transfers were linked.

''Such decisions are taken in public interest at the initiative of the CJI,'' a source in the Ministry said. ''There is little else we can say.'' Another announcement by the Ministry today pertained to the appointment of an Additional Judge to the Bombay High Court.

President Patil has appointed Shinde Sambhaji Shiwaji an Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court for two years with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office, it said.

UNI MJ RP HT1932

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