Administration as Additional Judge Ad-Hoc Promotion will not count for Seniority of District Judge – SC

While hearing a challenge against the seniority list of district Judges, Drawn by the Rajasthan High Court, The SC emphasized that the time of Administration as a specially appointed/Ad-Hoc Judge won’t mean the seniority of District Judge.

Rajasthan Judicial Service Officers association raised the issue in a Writ Petition against the Seniority list prepared by the High Court on 15 March,2020. They sought for reckoning their services as Additional District & Session Judges in Fast Track Court for determining the seniority as DJ.

The bench Comprising of Justice Vineet Saran, Justice U U Lalit was dealing with following issue amnog others;

‘Weather the Judicial officers promoted on ad-hoc basis as Additional District & Session Judges to man the Fast Track Courts in the state and who were substantively appointed to the Cadre of the DJ, are entitled to seniority from the date of their initial ad-hoc promotion ?’

The SC noted that the issue was settled against the petitioners in various precedents such as:

  • Debabrata Das & Another v. Jatindra Prasad Dash & Others 6(2013) 3 SCC 658
  • V. Venkata Prasad & others v. High Court of Andhra Prades & Others (2016)11 SCC 656
  • Kum C. Yamini v. The state of A.P (2019) 10 SCALE 834

While Dealing with another issue in the case , The Apex Court held that in the seniority list of the District Judges, the Inter-se Seniority between Candidates who passed the Limited Competitive Examination, must be determined on the basis of their Merit in the Examination, and not on the basis of their Seniority in the erstwhile Cadre.