'Unfair treatment being meted out to Arunchalee judges'
Itanagar, Feb 16 : Contrary to the directive of Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir to appoint more fast track courts (FTCs) to expeditiously dispose of all pending court cases, particularly crimes against women, the Gauhati High Court registry has terminated three additional district and sessions judges, namely Oying Apum, Goto Ete and Tumken Bagra.
"It was a predetermined agenda as three of them recruited on merit through due recruitment process and interview conducted by the Gauhati HC registry would have qualified to become HC judges through their service record and channel within next three years," which they have claimed in a writ filed before the High Court on February 5 last to seek justice.
Apum, a gold medallist in LLB from North Eastern Hills University (NEHU), and the first woman law graduate from Arunachal Pradesh, served in state's law department for seven years, before appearing for the examination in 2001.
Bagra, a first class law graduate in 1981 and Ete, a first class law graduate in 1987, after practicing for 12 and 14 years respectively along with Apum appeared in the examination.
Three of them after qualifying the recruitment examination on merit were appointed as additional deputy commissioner having the powers and functions of additional district and sessions judge on June 6, 2002 vide letter No. JUDD/60/2001.
"This is a pre conceived move as the registry in consultation with the state government had extended their contractual services till March 31, 2015. As three of them are on contractual service with the state government, such injustice is shocking," said Member of Parliament from Arunachal (West), Takam Sanjoy.
"While the recruitment Rules No. 7 specifically has an enabling provision for regularisation of FTC judges, but intriguingly the HC registry even after seeking the ACRs of the three judges vide letter No. HC/VII:09/2008/1615/A and property returns through the law department continued to avail their services on adhoc basis," the MP informed.
Interestingly, three of them appeared in the written examinations conducted by the Gauhati HC registry again on September 02, 2012, just within 24 days' notice on August 07, 2012, from the date of fixation of written examination and they were called to appear for interview by the principal bench of the HC at Guwahati on November 22, 2012.
"When three of them reported on time on the given date, they were told that their answer sheets were not checked. They were also told that whosoever among them found securing qualifying marks in terms of the Supreme Court in the Brij Mohan Lal case would be called for interview," Sanjoy claimed.
Shockingly, without consulting or intimating the Government of Arunachal Pradesh, the termination letters dated January 7, 2013, were received by the state's law department as a bolt from the blue.
The HC registry in a hurry advertised on January 10, 2013, for vacancies arising out of the termination in Arunachal Pradesh FTCs through there was no vacancy for the same in the state governmnet.
Sanjoy said the Guahait High court was set up in 1948 to function as the principal seat of justice for seven North East states, but there has been no single judge from Arunachal Pradesh representing the indigenous community, giving enough proof of the move to deprive the Arunachalees to become regular judges of the High Court.