CALCUTTA, India; Chief Justice Devi Singh Tewatia of the Calcutta High Court believes that the present policy of transferring Chief Justice from one high court to another is not in the public interest and that it will undermine the independence of the judiciary and may go against the rules of the law. The way Justice Tewatia who resigned from the post of Chief Justice of High Court put, however this rather strong indictment of the policy of transfer of Chief Justices which has all along been controversial, is not the reason for his resignation, It is the health of his ailing wife and the medical advice that he should give her company which has compelled him to seek premature, voluntary retirement from the job. In his resignation letter to the President of India. ‘Tewatia has made it clear that he has no intention of taking up another job in the judiciary. The three months stay in Calcutta appears to have failed to assuage Mr. Tewatia’s feeling affected by his unusual transfer from the Punjab and Haryana High Court while that transfer obviously rankles, the glaring dissimilarities between Chandigarh and Calcutta also have strengthened his resolve not to continue in the present job. Sudden transfer was followed by the rude discovery that the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court did not enjoy the amenity of an office at the residence, like one of his predecessor, Satish Chander who was the first Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court to have been inducted from outside. Mr. Te watia had to do with an apartment which was a makeshift arrangement. Why this transfer policy was not in the public interest? Mr. Tewatia explains, that being an outsider and not being adequately familiar with the local custom, convention, complexities, and thousands of other methods. Which came into judicial process a transferee Chief Justice is obliged to understand the intricacies of the law which should not be the situation? All it does not specify is the problem of relying on others. The impression is gained that the experience in this regard has not been happy to him


Article extracted from this publication >> February 26, 1988