Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe allegations of misconduct against former Madras High Court Chief Justice VK Tahilramani, The Times of India reported on Monday.
Gogoi told the agency to “take further action as per law” after a report by the Intelligence Bureau flagged Tahilramani’s purchase of two flats in the outskirts of Chennai. The CBI will reportedly look into whether Tahilramani had declared the two properties.
The agency has also been asked to look into Tahilramani’s decision to dissolve a special bench hearing idol theft cases against influential people. The bench, which was dissolved by Tahilramani allegedly under pressure from a Tamil Nadu minister, was set up in 2018 to monitor idol theft cases. It had reportedly taken a tough stand against the offenders.
There are allegations that Tahilramani had also favoured certain advocates.
According to reports, the flats she had bought in Semmencherry, on the outskirts of Chennai, were purchased with a loan from HDFC Bank, and Rs 1.56 crore was spent from six bank accounts linked to Tahilramani.
The Intelligence Bureau report came after Tahilramani resigned following the Supreme Court Collegium’s decision to transfer her to the Meghalaya High Court. She formally resigned after the collegium rejected her request to reconsider her transfer. Tahilramani, who was the senior most High Court judge in the country, was reportedly upset about the sudden transfer to a much smaller High Court.
However, the top court never revealed why she was transferred. After the transfer was criticised, the Supreme Court had issued a statement on September 12, saying that each recommendation for transfer “was made for cogent reasons” with due procedure “in the interest of better administration of justice”.
Tahilramani took over as the chief justice of the Madras High Court on August 12 last year. While in the Bombay High Court in May 2017, she had upheld the convictions in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case. She was due to retire from service on October 2, 2020.
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