Gauhati HC Bar Association registers protest over Collegium proposal to transfer Justice Ujjal Bhuyan

Meera Emmanuel September 4 2019
Ujjal Bhuyan

The Gauhati High Court Bar Association has registered its protest to the Supreme Court Collegium's proposal to transfer Justice Ujjal Bhuyan from Gauhati to the Bombay High Court.

A resolution passed on Tuesday afternoon by the Association intimates that the Bar members were unanimously against the proposed transfer of Justice Bhuyan, more so given his seniority rank will fall once he shifts from the Gauhati High Court. In this regard, the resolution states,

"There was unanimity among the members of the Bar that the transfer of Mr. Justice Bhuyan from Gauhati High Court to the Bombay High Court instead of serving the case of better administration of justice, would adversely affect the administration justice in the Gauhati High Court. Learned members of the Bar were of the opinion that Justice Bhuyan, who is in the Gauhati High Court at present is the 3rd senior most judge and in that capacity also member of the various committees, has been playing a significant role in improving the administration of justice in the Gauhati High Court both on judicial and administrative side and such a role evidently Justice Bhuyan cannot play in the Bombay High Court when on transfer, he will be apparently at serial No. 15 of the Seniority List of Judges. 

Further, it goes on to highlight that, in view of the exemplary manner in which Justice Bhuyan has been discharging his judicial work at the Gauhati High Court,

The member of the Bar unanimously are of the view that transfer of Justice Bhuyan at this stage from the Gauhati High Court will not to serve the cause of better administration of justice in the Gauhati High Court."

Therefore, the Bar members have called on the Central Government to return the Collegium proposal to transfer Justice Ujjal Bhuyan to the Bombay High Court. Further, the Association has also intimated that it has been decided that a delegation would meet the Union Law Minister and other higher authorities for a discussion on the issue.

Justice Ujjal Bhuyan obtained LLB Degree from Government Law College, Guwahati and LLM from Gauhati University. He enrolled at the Bar in 1991 and practiced before the Principal Seat of the Gauhati High Court at Guwahati and appeared before the Agartala, Shillong, Kohima and Itanagar Benches of the Gauhati High Court. He also practiced before the Central Administrative Tribunal, Guwahati Bench and the Assam Board of Revenue.

He was the Standing Counsel of the Income Tax Department for 16 years, starting as Junior Standing Counsel in May 1995 and before being appointed as Senior Standing Counsel in 2008. He was the Additional Government Advocate, Meghalaya in the Principal Seat of the Gauhati High Court from April 2002 to October 2006.

He was designated Senior Advocate in 2010 by the Gauhati High Court and was appointed Additional Advocate General of Assam ion 2011. He was elevated as Additional Judge of Gauhati High Court on October 17, 2011 and was made permanent judge on March 20, 2013.

The protest over his proposed transfer comes on the same day that the Telangana High Court Advocates' Association passed a similarly critical resolution, condemning the Collegium's proposal to transfer Justice PV Sanjay Kumar from Telangana to the Punjab and Haryana High Court. As with Justice Ujjal's case, if Justice Kumar is to be transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court as a judge, he seniority would fall. Justice Kumar is at present the second senior most judge in the Telangana High Court after Chief Justice RS Chauhan.

As a mark of protest over the Collegium's decision to transfer him, the THCAA has resolved to abstain from work for the coming week. In the meanwhile seniors of the Law Court had also expressed their criticism over Justice Kumar's recommended transfer, terming the same as a punitive measure.

[Read the Gauhati High Court Advocates' Association Resolution]

Gauahati Bar Resolutio - Trasnfer of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan