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SC: Denial of jobs to Judicial Officers during vacancies considered as denying help in disposal of cases

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Supreme Court Law Insider

Sakunjay Vyas

Published on: May 25, 2022 at 21:08 IST

The Two Judge Bench of Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Vikram Nath of the Supreme Court overturned the judgment of the Patna High Court where the High Court rejected the candidature of these Civil Judge candidates only and only based on non-production of the original Certificates.

The Apex Court recently ruled that denying jobs to Judicial Officers even when there are vacancies available would be considered as denying help in the disposal of cases pending in huge numbers

Contentions of the Appellant are as follows:

  1. That that all the Appellants had supplied attested true copies of the certificates/documents as required.
  2. That for submission of the originals, time was sought and later on the originals have been submitted.
  3. That the requirement to submit the originals is neither related to qualification nor eligibility and in any case before the appointment or during probation a verification and vigilance report is always obtained by the State.
  4. That the decision of the Commission rejecting their candidature was per se illegal, unwarranted, unreasonable and too harsh.
  5. That even the High Court committed an error in dismissing their petitions.

Respondent vehemently opposed the above-stated contentions:

  1. That they could not relax any of the conditions which were mentioned in the advertisement or their brochure or the interview call letter at different stages.
  2. That appellants knowing fully well the condition regarding submission of the original Certificates/Documents at the time of interview having failed to do so, their candidature was rightly rejected.

The Apex Court stated that prima facie the view taken so far of rejecting the candidates was improper, unjustified and not warranted.

That filling up the vacancies with meritorious candidates will help the judicial institutions in disposing of a huge number of cases. The Court said:

“Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, without entering into the respective argument we are of the considered view that the rejection of the candidates was improper, unjustified and not warranted. We have also taken note of the fact that there are vacancies available, which if filled up by meritorious candidates would only be an asset for the institution helping in disposal of cases pending in huge numbers.”

The Apex Court further stated that the candidates falling in the general category may be adjusted in the vacancies available.

That for the rest of the candidates which belong to any special group like EBC, SC and BC category either adjust them against future vacancies which we are told are available at present or the State may borrow three posts from future vacancies, one each in respective categories for the Advertisement No.06 of 2018. This would amount to varying the vacancies of the said advertisement which power always vests in the employer.

As a result, the Apex Court overturned the impugned judgment of the Patna High Court, Division Bench by stating that:

  1. That the appointment of appellants would not affect the appointment/selection of already serving Judicial officers appointed against Advertisement No. 6 of 2018.
  2. That the eight appellants would be entitled to their respective seniority as per their merit; however, they would not be entitled to any arrears of salary for the intervening period, but would be entitled to the same from the date of 14 of their joining.
  3. All incremental and other benefits of the intervening period would be notionally available to them, but no arrears would be paid.