Several prominent lawyers and social activists sought the transfer of Karnataka chief justice SK Mukherjee over corruption charges during a protest here on Friday.
Anti-corruption activist Ravikrishna Reddy sat on a hunger strike on Friday morning and was joined by activists such as the 99-year-old freedom fighter, HS Doreswamy, and the man who uncovered the state iron-ore mining scam, HR Hiremath.
The most influential body, the Advocates Association Bangalore (AAB), which first demanded the ouster of justice Mukherjee last July, however, stayed away from the protest.
“We will meet the chief justice of India and the law minister within the next week or 10 days and submit a memorandum seeking honourable justice Mukherjee’s transfer. His continuance in the post has become untenable,” said former MLA and AAB president KN Subba Reddy who is now the president of the federation of bar associations in Karnataka.
“The Supreme Court Collegium had recommended the transfer of Justice Mukherjee way back in May 2016 but the government is delaying the matter without explanation,” said AP Rangnath, President of the United Advocates Forum of Karnataka.
Extending support to the move, former special public prosecutor for the Karnataka government, S Dorairaj said, “This is not only about Justice Mukherjee. Corruption in the judiciary is at an all-time high. This is just the start.”
Justice Mukherjee has been at the centre of controversy after he said in an open court on July 5, 2016 that he had been approached by a Bengali-speaking man at his official residence with a bribe to settle a high-profile case.
The statement created a furore, with the AAB demanding to know how a strange man can enter the residence of the Chief Justice without scrutiny and why he was not arrested immediately after he made the offer.