Justice Kariel was elevated from the Bar in 2020 to the bench.
As soon as the news regarding Justice Kariel’s transfer arrived, office bearers of the Gujarat High Court Advocates Association (GHAA) called its members and decided to protest the reported decision before the chief justice. They rushed to the CJ’s court. Looking at his court suddenly teeming with lawyers, the CJ asked, “How come this sudden rush from the Bar?”
The senior advocates took the lead and one of them said, “We have come here to mourn the death of independence of judiciary because of the transfer of Justice Kariel. We will observe two minutes of silence here.” They sought the court’s permission to observe silence in protest.
The chief justice inquired when the notification of transfer arrived and said that he had no intimation in this regard. A senior lawyer submitted, “Normally, the chief justice of the high court should be consulted before any such transfer.” The Bar members cited different news portals flashing the news.
After a brief discussion, the chief justice has agreed to meet the members of the Bar in his chamber at 1.30pm. The GHAA has decided to hold a meeting with its members at 2pm. It’s in-charge president Pruthiraj Jadeja said, “The association will see that outcome of the meeting with the chief justice, but the members are in a mood of going on a strike in the post-lunch session to protest the transfer of an honest and bold judge.”
Earlier, the GHAA protested on two occasions when the SC collegium took the decision of transfer of two judges — justice Jayant Patel and justice Akil Kureshi. The association had even filed a petition against the decision to shift Justice Kureshi. It so happened that without transferring him, Justice Anant Dave, the second puisne judge after Justice Kureshi, was appointed as acting chief justice of the high court.