06:26 GMT14 August 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Earlier this week, India’s national capital witnessed one of the worst communal clashes since the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as pro- and anti-citizenship law activists battled it out on the streets.

    The northeastern part of India's national capital has witnessed large-scale violence after clashes between pro- and anti-citizenship law protesters turned into communal riots. Several properties, vehicles, and places of worship were either set on fire or damaged, with the police failing to control the frenzy for three days. 

    As violence continued unabated, rights activist Harsh Mander filed a petition seeking the intervention of the High Court of Delhi. A two-member bench of Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Talwant Singh came down heavily on the Delhi Police and asked them to take action according to the law. The court also rapped the police for not taking any action against some leaders of the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for their hate speeches. 

    In an overnight move, the federal government ordered the transfer of Justice Muralidhar to Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh. The government's contention was that a Collegium of the Supreme Court of India had intimated its proposal to transfer Justice Muralidhar from the High Court of Delhi to Punjab and Haryana High Court. 

    Rahul Gandhi, from India’s main opposition Congress Party, reminded the federal government of a brave judge, who handed down a verdict against the then government in Gujarat headed by Narendra Modi in a fake encounter case.

    ​Judge Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in Gujarat, had died of a cardiac arrest in Nagpur on 1 December 2014, where he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter.

    Federal Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed Congress for politicising a routine transfer.

    Social media users, however, came down heavily on the government, calling it "utterly shameful".

    A notification issued by the federal Ministry of Law and Justice has been making the rounds on social media. It reads: “In exercise of the power conferred by Clause (1) of Article 222 of the Constitution of India, the President, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, is pleased to transfer Justice S. Muralidhar, Judge of the Delhi High Court, as a Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and to direct him to assume charge of his office in the Punjab and Haryana High Court".



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