Jul5,2021 #S. MURALIDHAR

Chief Justice of Orissa High Court

NAME – S. Muralidhar

PROFESSION– Advocate, Judge

BORN – 08/08/1961




SPOUSE – Usha Ramanathan




Completed his Bachelor of Sciences (Chemistry) from the Vivekananda College, Chennai

Completed  Bachelor of Laws course from the University of Madras

Completed his Masters of Laws (LL.M.) from Nagpur University

Awarded a Ph. D by the University of Delhi


Mukesh Goswami Memorial Prize

Carmichael and Innes Prize, 1984.

SPECIALISATION– Constitutional and Administrative Law



S. Muralidhar is one of the most respected judges all over India. He helps us understand the true meaning of the word ‘Scholar’. He secured 1st position at the University of Madras when he completed his Bachelors of Laws. When he was a law student, he won the All India Moot Court Competition and later represented India at 25th Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition held at Washington D.C. in April 1984.

He qualified as a Company Secretary as well in December 1985. Later he completed his LL.M. and was awarded his Ph.D. by the University of Delhi. He published various articles, journals, research papers, and books. He had given various landmark judgments which helped in developing the justice system and India as a whole. He is an honest and most courageous judicial officer.

He enrolled as an advocate on 12/09/1984 and practiced in civil courts in Chennai, Delhi High Court, and Supreme Court of India. In July 1987 he shifted his practice to Delhi and worked as a junior lawyer under then Additional Solicitor General G Ramaswamy.

He played an active role as a lawyer for the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee and later served as its member for two terms. He was appointed as an Additional Judge of Delhi High Court on 29/05/2006, and as Permanent Judge on 29/08/2007.

He was transferred to Punjab and Haryana High Court on  06/04/2020. Finally, he was appointed as Chief Justice of Orissa High Court on 31/12/2020.


1984 – Enrolled himself as an advocate

2006 – Appointed as an additional judge of Delhi High Court

2007 – Elevated as Permanent Judge of Delhi High Court

2020 – Appointed as a judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court


 Laxmi Mandal Vs Deen Dayal Harinagar Hospital (2010)

This case highlights the deficiencies in the implementation of many schemes, funded by the Government of India, which were meant to reduce infant and maternal mortality. This failure lead to the denial of benefits to two mothers below the poverty line (BPL) during their pregnancy.

In this judgment, Muralidhar deprecated the practice where instead of making it easier for poor persons to avail the benefits, the efforts seem more in proving whether the person is ‘poor’ and ‘disadvantaged’ with documentation. He opined no woman, more so a pregnant one  should be denied the facility of treatment at any stage irrespective of her social and economic background.

This is the primary function of public health services. This is where the inalienable right to health which is so inherent to the right to life gets enforced.”

Kulwinder Vs State (NCT of Delhi) (2018)

This case was heard by S. Muralidhar of Delhi High Court. He set aside the trial court verdict and held that the Mirchpur Dalit killing incident of 2010 was an instance of caste-based violence where there was intentional targeting of setting houses on fire in a pre-planned and carefully orchestrated manner, and thus a case of murder.

 Naz Foundation Vs NCT of Delhi (2009)

This case was heard by the Division Bench of Delhi High Court including then Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and S. Muralidhar. It was held that treating consensual homosexual sex between adults as a crime ( According to Section 377 of IPC) is a total violation of fundamental rights protected by the Constitution of India.


The Collegium of the Supreme Court of India headed by former Chief Justice of India S. A. Bobde in its meeting held on 12/02/2020 recommended the transfer of Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar from the High Court of Delhi to the High Court of Punjab and Haryana.

The President of India accepted the recommendation of the Collegium of the Supreme Court of India and the transfer was notified on the night of 26/02/2020. The hurried and immediate transfer of Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar was said to be planned by lawyers, former judges, civil society, and was considered to be a punitive measure by the government for the hearings headed by Justice Muralidhar conducted by the Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi during the 2020 Delhi riots.

The fact that the notification for Justice Muralidhar’s transfer was issued in the evening after he held the Delhi Police and the central government accountable for the Delhi riots shows that the transfer was a planned step taken to not allow him to pass the judgment.

During the Full Court Reference given by the High Court of Delhi on 05/03/2020, Justice Muralidhar spoke and questioned about the immediate transfer.


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