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‘Don’t address me as your lordship, my lord,’ says Justice S Muralidhar to lawyers

The note attached to the cause list of cases issued for Monday by the Punjab and Haryana HC read, ‘It is for the information of respected members of the Bar that Hon’ble Justice S Muralidhar has requested that they may try and avoid addressing him as ‘your lordship’ or ‘my lord’.’

SNS | New Delhi |

Justice S Muralidhar, who was transferred from the Delhi High Court to the Punjab and Haryana High Court recently, has requested lawyers to avoid using terms such as “my lord” or “your lordship” while addressing him.

Justice  Muralidhar was transferred from Delhi High Court after he reprimanded the Delhi Police over its inaction in filing FIRs against the BJP leaders who made hate speeches which led to the Delhi violence. He  was administered the oath as Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on March 6 by HC Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha in the presence of a large gathering comprising jurists and lawyers.

The note attached to the cause list of cases issued for Monday by the Punjab and Haryana HC read,  “It is for the information of respected members of the Bar that Hon’ble Justice S Muralidhar has requested that they may try and avoid addressing him as ”your lordship” or ”my lord”.”

Earlier, the High Court Bar Association in Chandigarh had a few years ago asked its members to prefer addressing judges as “sir” or “your honour”, though many lawyers continue to use terms such as “your lordship” to address them.

The 58-year-old judge at his farewell cleared the air over the controversy on his transfer. He said he had replied to Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde’s communication, saying he was fine with the proposal and had no objection to it.

He was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on February 26. It  sparked a controversy as earlier in the day, a Delhi High Court bench headed by Justice Muralidhar had read the Riots Act to Delhi Police regarding the violence in the northeast parts of the national capital and said that “another 1984-like situation cannot be allowed to happen in this city” under its watch.

Justice Murlidhar took a strong stand and pulled up the Delhi police asking them to sit and watch all videos of hate speeches made in the recent past and submit a report by Thursday when it will hear the matter again.

The court has sought explanation on why there was such delay in registering FIRs in cases of hate speech.

The court also played the three speeches — including that of Kapil Mishra’s that was delivered hours before the violence — so that the Delhi Police and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who had denied watching the clips, could see them.

The communal violence in northeast Delhi, which was sparked by protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has left at least 48 people dead and over 200 injured.