SC Directs Delhi High Court To Set Aside Rule Barring Lower Judicial Officers From Exam For ADJs
SC Directs Delhi High Court To Set Aside Rule Barring Lower Judicial Officers From Exam For ADJs

The Supreme Court has stepped in to help lower judicial officers, who had been blocked from writing an examination being held for selecting additional district judges (ADJs).  

It has directed the Delhi High Court to accept their applications.

Rule Bars Those With Over 7 Years of Experience

Several judicial officers such as judicial, executive and metropolitan magistrates have criticised Rule 9 (2) available under Delhi Higher Judicial Service Rules which prohibits them from the examination that is scheduled this year on April 15 which is used for the appointment of entry-level ADJs.

According to their pleas, all those judicial officers, who have been in service for previous seven years, have been barred from writing the higher judicial service examination that is held by the Delhi High Court.

Additionally all judges, who have spent seven years in judicial service and as a lawyer combined, are also not permitted to appear in the examination.

The pleas seeks to establish if such persons are “eligible for appointment” through direct recruitment to the role of district judge (entry level) in the Delhi Higher Judicial Service.

Arrangement Only Provisional

A bench comprising Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice M M Shantanagoudar has asked the Delhi HC to ignore the proviso relating to the seven years of experience . They however stated in the order that the exception provided was “a provisional arrangement.”

The justices further noted that the participation of the applicants does not confer on them “any right to claim any equity”, and stated that a decision regarding the eligibility for appointment will be taken while the final hearing is held on the matter

The court has also sent a notice to the Delhi High Court Registry regarding the pleas which include one submitted by Nitin Raj, who is the Special Railway Magistrate at Ambala.

One of the pleas has also asked that the Delhi Higher Judicial Service Rule be declared as “unconstitutional” as it seeks to exclude those having over 7 years of cumulative experience as an advocate and a judicial officer

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