SC lifeline for 22 judges

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  • Published 20.09.12

Ranchi, Sept. 19: Supreme Court today came to the rescue of 22 fast track court additional district judges whose appointments had been declared illegal by Jharkhand High Court in March last year.

The apex court directed Jharkhand High Court as well as the state government to hold a suitability test for judges and appoint them in regular posts within six months. The state government has also been directed to create extra posts, if sanctioned posts weren’t available.

The 22 fast track court judges were appointed in 2002 from among the panels prepared for the appointment of regular additional district judges.

The high court had declared that their appointment was against the law and deserved to be quashed and set aside as there was no sanction from the state government for these posts.

Petitioner M.C. Verma’s lawyer S.R. Sharma said that a division bench of the apex court comprising Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Desai gave the verdict citing an order passed in April in the case of Brij Mohan Lal vs Union of India.

Under the formula, set by the SC in Brij Mohan Lal’s case, the high court will conduct a suitability test for absorption of fasttarck court judges in the regular cadre of additional district judges.

“Thereafter, they shall be subjected to an interview by a selection committee consisting of the chief justice and four senior-most judges of that high court,” the court order has said.

“There shall be 150 marks for the written examination and 100 marks for the interview. The qualifying marks shall be 40 per cent aggregate for general candidates and 35 per cent for SC/ST/OBC candidates. The examination and interview shall be held in accordance with the relevant rules enacted by states for direct appointment to Higher Judicial Services,” the apex court said.