Transfer of HC Judges

2022 NOV 29

Preliminary   > Polity   >   Judiciary   >   Judicial System

Why in news?

  • Lawyers from the Gujarat Bar Association, engaged in an unprecedented protest seeking a reversal of the Supreme Court Collegium's decision to transfer Gujarat High Court judge Nikhil Kariel to the Patna High Court

How High Court Judges are transferred?

  • The President can transfer a judge from one high court to another after consulting the Chief Justice of India.
  • On transfer, he is entitled to receive in addition to his salary such compensatory allowance as may be determined by Parliament.
  • In 1977, the Supreme Court ruled that the transfer of high court judges could be resorted to only as an exceptional measure and only in public interest and not by way of punishment.
  • Again in 1994, the Supreme Court held that judicial review is necessary to check arbitrariness in transfer of judges. But, only the judge who is transferred can challenge it.
  • In the Third Judges case (1998), the Supreme Court opined that in case of the transfer of high court judges, the Chief Justice of India should consult, in addition to the collegium of four seniormost judges of the Supreme Court, the chief justice of the two high courts (one from which the judge is being transferred and the other receiving him).
  • Thus, the sole opinion of the chief justice of India does not constitute the ‘consultation’ process.


Which of the following statements are correct regarding transfer of High Court judges?

1. Constitution empowers President to transfer a judge from one high court to another

2. Transfer of high court judges are outside the purview of judicial review

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2