Delhi HC dismisses pleas seeking judges in lower court
The Delhi High Court Thursday dismissed a bunch of pleas filed by six lawyers - aspiring lower court judges - who were selected for the judicial service but not considered for appointment.
A division bench headed by Justice Sanjeev Khanna dismissed the pleas and said their petitions to increase the number of posts notified to further accommodate them were filed only after they could not make the final cut.
On Jan 29 last year, an advertisement was published for recruitment of 50 judges in the judicial service, whereas 100 posts were vacant at that time.
Only 32 candidates were shortlisted against the recruitment for 50 posts.
"It is interesting to note that the petitioners herein have challenged and questioned the number of posts notified/advertised only after the final results were declared and not before, when they participated in the selection process," the bench said.
The six petitioners, who were selected for judicial service but not considered for appointment, moved the high court saying it was bound to fill up at least 50 notified vacancies and they (the six candidates who were on merit list) should be appointed in the judiciary.
"The petitioners may have claimed that they did not have knowledge of the existing vacant posts but they would have ascertained the said factual position. Possibly many of them have been aware but have chosen to file the writ petitions only after participation, taking chance, but when they did not get selected," the judgment added.
The bench also admitted that there was paucity of court rooms in Delhi's six district court complexes.
"On creation of additional 100 posts sanctioned by the Delhi government, it would be appropriate to note that till date, additional infrastructure in the form of buildings and courtrooms have not been made available."
"It is unfortunate but true that infrastructure is normally made available after the posts have been sanctioned and not before," it said.
Appearing for the six candidates, advocate R.K. Kapoor told the court that the failure to fill up the vacant posts for want of infrastructure in the form of courtrooms was factually "incorrect" and contrary to the details made available to them under the RTI Act.
However, the bench said this contention on the aspect of courtrooms was "mere surmises and conjectures upon their own calculations" and "cannot form the basis of judicial decision to accept the writ petitions".
The high court's administrative department had earlier informed the bench that the vacant posts of judges required in judicial service cannot be filled due to "infrastructure problem", including room crunch in the six court complexes.
However, agreeing that it was bound to fill up at least 50 notified vacancies, the administrative department said for this it selected 23 candidates from the general category while the remaining vacancies (27) pertained to the reserved category, which cannot be filled by general candidates.
Nine reserved category candidates were selected for the posts, it said.
The selected judges are undergoing training and will take charge likely by May.
(Posted on 30-01-2014)