The Congress on Thursday hit out at the government over the transfer of Delhi high court Judge S Muralidhar, alleging that the Modi dispensation was waging a battle of revenge against the judiciary.
Muralidhar was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana high court, on a day when a bench headed by him expressed "anguish" over the Delhi Police's failure to register FIRs against alleged hate speeches by Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Parvesh Verma, Kapil Mishra and Anurag Thakur.
Taking a dig at the government over Muralidhar's "sudden" transfer, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "Remembering the brave Judge Loya, who wasn't transferred."
Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case of Gujarat, died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter.
Upping the ante against the Modi government, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the Centre's attempts to "muzzle" justice and "break people's faith in an upright judiciary are deplorable".
"The midnight transfer of Justice Muralidhar isn't shocking given the current dispensation, but it is certainly sad & shameful," Priyanka Gandhi tweeted.
"Millions of Indians have faith in a resilient & upright judiciary, the government's attempts to muzzle justice & break their faith are deplorable," she added.
Calling the transfer a classic "hit-and-run injustice" by the BJP government, senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said the saffron party's "politics of revenge" has been exposed.
"It seems those doing justice in country will now not be spared," he said at a press conference in New Delhi.
"Delhi HC Judge S Muralidhar transferred by the government to save BJP leaders in Delhi violence case," he alleged.
Congress leader Manish Tewari Justice S Muralidhar has been transferred to Punjab and Haryana high court for entirely "opaque reasons".
"Judge Muralidhar was under transfer to Chandigarh for entirely opaque reasons but to abruptly ask him to leave day after a midnight hearing at his residence in Delhi that must have saved many lives manifests the arrogance of a Govt punch drunk on Power," he tweeted.
"Every lawyer and judge in India who believes law and justice are higher callings than just a career must strongly protest and condemn crude attempt to intimidate Judiciary by arbitrary transfer of Justice S Muralidhar in the middle of the Delhi riot hearings," Tewari said.
A government notification about the transfer was issued on Wednesday which said that after consultation with Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday transferred Justice S Muralidhar, judge of Delhi high court, as judge of Punjab and Haryana high court.
The notification further said that the President has directed Justice Muralidhar to assume charge of his office in Punjab and Haryana high court.
On February 12, the Supreme Court Collegium had in its meeting recommended to transfer Justice Muralidhar from Delhi high court to Punjab and Haryana HC.
The Delhi High Court Bar Association last week condemned the transfer recommendation and also passed a resolution unanimously in this regard.
With inputs from ANI