SC Issued Notice on 7 Judicial Officers’ Plea against Non-recommendation of Their Names by SC Collegium

SC Issued Notice on 7 Judicial Officers’ Plea against Non-recommendation of Their Names by SC Collegium

The petition, filed by seven judicial officers of the state through advocate Aruna Gupta, has requested the collegium to reconsider their cases.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde has issued notice to the Secretary General of the Supreme Court and the Centre on a petition challenging the decision to omitted their names as part of the Supreme Court Collegium’s endorsement dated August 14, 2020, for appointment of Judges of the Allahabad High Court.

They stated that while their name was recommended by the High Court Collegium, the Supreme Court Collegium has proposed to promote only District and Sessions, Judge Subhash Chand.

Arguing the same, they said that probably they have not been considered on the grounds that they have not completed the 10-year term of judicial office.

The petition stated that appointments were made retroactive with effect from January 2007 and were upheld by both the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court. Further, they belongs to the same batch as Subhash Chand and joined the higher judicial services at the same time.

They argued that Subhash Chand joined the judicial service as a lawyer in December 2011 or January 2012 after resigning from UP Judicial Service. Thus, it has been held that there was a break in his judicial service and his services in Uttar Pradesh judicial service could not be included for the purpose of enumerating the term of 10 years of judicial office, as Article 217 of the Constitution of India (2) (a).

Knowingly, two judicial officers who retired last year, however, have argued, “Any connivance for the purpose derived from the imposition of the age restriction in relation to the recommendation of the Judicial Service cadre for appointment as High Court Judge.” No and it is not mandatory either, because so many judicial officers have been appointed judges in various high courts even after their retirement.

Citing the example of the Bombay High Court in which 3 judicial officers, who exceeded the prescribed age limit of 58 ½ years, were appointed High Court judges to meet a number of pending cases. The petitioners submitted as follows: “51 and 61 posts of judges were vacant on 01/04/2019 and on 01/08/2020 in the Honourable High Court of Allahabad, despite the huge pending of civil as well as criminal cases.

By Priya Kumari