Justice Siddharth Mridul was on Monday appointed as the chief justice of the Manipur High Court, more than three months after his name was recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium.
On October 9, a Supreme Court bench had noted that the appointment of the chief justice of the Manipur High Court had finally received the Centre’s attention and would be notified “shortly”.
The top court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud had on July 5 recommended the appointment of Justice Mridul, a judge of the Delhi High Court, as the chief justice of the Manipur High Court, amid the ethnic turmoil in the border state.
“In exercise of the power conferred by the Constitution of India, President of India, after consultation with Chief Justice of India, is pleased to appoint Sh Justice Siddharth Mridul, Judge of the Delhi High Court, as Chief Justice of Manipur High Court. I convey best wishes to him,” Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal posted on X.
The views of the state chief minister, required under the memorandum of procedure on appointment, elevation and transfer of high court judges, were awaited by the Centre which apparently delayed the appointment of Justice Mridul.
The Manipur HC is currently headed by an acting chief justice. Recently, the Supreme Court Collegium had recommended the transfer of Justice M V Muralidaran of the Manipur High Court to the Calcutta High Court for “better administration of justice”.
Justice Muralidaran’s order in March to consider including the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list triggered unrest in the northeastern state.
Justice Muralidaran, by a communication dated October 10, had requested the collegium to transfer him to his parent High Court of Madras and if that was not feasible, to permit him to continue to function in the High Court of Manipur, instead of transferring him to the Calcutta High Court.
But the collegium recommended his transfer to the Calcutta HC. “The collegium does not find merit in the requests made by him. The collegium, therefore, resolves to reiterate its recommendation dated 9 October 2023 to transfer Mr Justice M V Muralidaran to the High Court at Calcutta,” the October 11 resolution read.