If the decision is made by the college, there is no judicial review over it, the Supreme Court observed on Monday orally in a motion filed by 7 Uttar Pradesh district judges seeking instructions for reconsideration of their elevation to the High Court of Allahabad by the Supreme Court. Court College.
The bench of Judges AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar also adjourned the motion in brief for March 28, 2022.
The applicants had passed the written examination for direct superior judicial service pursuant to the announcement of 38 vacancies for district and additional sessional judges for the year 1998-2000. However the determination of 38 vacancies of the High Magistracy was disputed by promoted judicial officers. The applicants’ appointment thus became embroiled in litigation, which was finally decided by the High Court on 13 September 2010. The applicants were appointed in December 2011 and January 2012 with retroactive effect to 4 January 2007 by the High Court from Allahabad.
The applicants were on the list of district judges whose names were recommended for appointment to the Allahabad High Court by the College of the High Court, but their names were not considered by the Supreme Court when of the College held on August 14, 2020.
The petitioners further stated that their names were probably disregarded on the grounds that they had not completed 10 years of judicial office while the name of another district judge (Respondent #3) who was of the same lot and had joined the service with them was recommended for elevation.
The complainants argued that their seniority was not calculated from 4 January 2007 and that an error was therefore made.
“The case of Respondent No. 3 is on a par with the Applicants with respect to the date of appointment to the UPHJS 2000, but despite this, the 10-year period of judicial office has calculated from 04/01/2007 in the case of respondent no. judicial office under Section 217(2)(a) of the Constitution of India has not been reckoned from 4th January 2007 for the purpose of consideration of the matter of the petitioners and the other 2 persons mentioned above for elevation to the Honorable High Court Thus, the applicants were not treated on an equal footing with respondent 3 despite the fact that the applicants and respondent 3 are placed tied”, the means stated.
When the case was called for hearing, Judge AM Khanwilkar, the presiding judge of the bench, asked lead counsel M. N. Rao appearing for the petitioner whether judicial review was available against the decision.
“2 things we need to point out. Is judicial review available against this decision? The constitution bench said there was no judicial review. Not only 1 but 2 judgments from the constitution bench have ruled that there was no judicial review. The decision of the college is itself a judicial process. You have not made the state the party to which you wish to be appointed judge. Mr. Rao, you ask We say that there is nothing to consider in the request. remarked Judge AM Khanwilkar.
Responding to the remarks posed by the bench, Lead Counsel MN Rao at this stage requested time to file his response with respect to the questions posed by the bench.
“There are 2 rulings on potential seniority. The High Court panel recommended the name but the Supreme Court panel did not consider it. I will make my presentation. Please give me some time”, submitted the lead attorney.
“If a decision is made by the college, there is no judicial review of it. There should be a legal basis. You should understand from experience how the name is handled,” remarked Judge AM Khanwilkar.
Accordingly, the bench, while adjourning the matter to March 28, 2022, said in its order:
“Mr. Rao argues that he may have some time to answer the questions raised by the court. List this case on March 28, 2022.”
In accordance with the adjournment of the case to March 28, 2022, Judge AM Khanwilkar added: “He will come on Monday. There is nothing to discuss. You should look at the judgment of the Constitutional Court. We are giving you time. We will hear from you on Monday.”
Senior Attorney AN Nadkarni appeared for the Secretary General of the Supreme Court.
In the affidavit submitted by the Union before the High Court, it was stated that the Union of India has a limited role in the process involving the recommendation of names for elevation as High Court Judges .
“Judges of the High Courts are appointed in accordance with the constitutional provisions set forth in Section 217 and Section 224 and the procedure established in the Protocol of Procedure (“MoP”) prepared in 1998 pursuant to the Constitutional Judgment of this honorable court in Supreme Court Advocates-On-Record: Association v. Union of India, 1993 (4) SCC 441 read with In Re: Presidential Reference (1998) 7 SCC 739. According to the MoP, the initiation of the proposal Appointment of High Court Judges devolved to the Chief Justices of the respective High Courts Respondent 2 only considers those recommended by the High Court/Supreme Court Collegiums It is argued that Respondent 2 , on its own, does not recommend the name of a barrister or judicial officer for appointment as a judge of the High Court.” the affidavit stated.
The petition was filed by Lawyer Aruna Gupta.
Case title: Pramod Kumar and others v. Secretary General of the Honorable Supreme Court and others | GT(C) 1011/2020