Justice Muralidhar, the judge who sentenced Sajjan Kumar to life in Sikh riots case
New Delhi, Feb 27: The transfer of Justice Muralidhar S has stirred up a controversy. The Congress accused the government of transferring the Delhi High Court to the Punjab and Haryana High Court for his directive on the inaction of the police in the northeast Delhi violence.
While the Congress feels that the transfer comes due to the latest directive the fact is that his transfer notification came 14 days after the Supreme Court Collegium recommended his transfer. Along with Justice Muralidhar, Justices R K Malimath and Ranjit More were also recommended for a transfer by the Collegium.
Justice Muralidhar has delivered some important judgments at the Delhi High Court. He was on the Bench that delivered the verdicts in the Section 377 and Sikh riots case.
In 2009, Justice Muralidhar along with then Chief Justice of the Delhi HC had decriminalised homosexuality.
"We declare section 377 of Indian Penal Code in so far as it criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private is violative of Articles 21, 14, and 15 of the Constitution. As it stands, Section 377 denies a gay person a right to full personhood which is implicit in the notion of life under Article 21 of the Constitution," the Bench had said.
In 2018, the Delhi High Court sentenced Congress leader Sajjan Kumar to life for his role in the Sikh riots case of 1984. The verdict was delivered while reversing a verdict of the lower court, which had acquitted Kumar.
The Bench comprising Justices Muralidhar and Vinod Goel held that investigation by the local police was a farce. Three out of the five trials involving allegations of murder were never investigated. The witnesses who might have seen the murders were not questioned. As pointed out by the trial Court, the State machinery came to a complete standstill in those two or three days when the rioting mobs took to the streets and indulged in acts of violence and killings, and setting properties on fire, the Bench had said.