Forty Years Ago, February 4, 1981: Judges’ Transfers

The Supreme Court today ordered status quo in the controversial transfers of the two Chief Justices – Justice M M Ismail of the Madras High Court to the Kerala High Court and Justice K B N Singh of the Patna High Court to the Madras High Court. The order, however, clarified that if Justice Ismail wants to take charge as the Chief Justice of Kerala as ordered by the President, he is free to do so. Justice P N Bhagwati passed the order while transferring and admitting a writ petition in Madras High Court challenging the transfer of the Chief Justice of that court. A five-judge Constitution Bench will hear the cases on February 17.

Baghpat Probe Report

The report of the Baghpat enquiry commission which held the policemen responsible for the murder of three persons and atrocious behaviour with Maya Tyagi was laid on the table of the houses of the UP legislature. There were angry protests by members of the Lok Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party against entrusting the enquiry against the police personnel to the CID. They demanded immediate prosecution of the indicted policemen on the basis of the findings of the commission.

Scanner On States

Candidates for Central government jobs from the three CPM ruled states, West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, will in future be screened by the Central Bureau of Investigation before their recruitment. A circular to this effect was issued by the Union government on January 23. Earlier candidates from West Bengal and Kerala were screened through the local police but Tripura has now been included because “it’s a sensitive state”.

First Woman PM

Gro Harlem Bruntland, 41-year old doctor and mother of four children, will take over as Norway’s new Prime Minister, the first woman PM of a Scandinavian country. Bruntland was unanimously nominated by members of the Labour Party’s central committee.

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