Gujarat HC Reverses Promotion of 40 Judicial Officers Following Supreme Court’s Stay

 The Gujarat High Court has reversed the promotion of 40 judicial officers and maintained the promotion of 21 others while changing their postings.

The decision followed the Supreme Court’s stay to the recent promotion of judicial officials.

Through two notifications issued on Monday, the High Court reversed the promotions of 40 judicial officers. It maintained the promotion of 21 others but changed their postings.

Among others, the HC maintained the promotion of Surat magistrate H H Varma as an additional sessions judge. As a magistrate, Varma had sentenced Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to two years in jail in a criminal defamation case related to Gandhi’s “Why all thieves have the Modi surname” remark.

But the HC posted Varma as the 12th additional district and sessions judge at Rajkot instead of the 16 additional district and sessions judge.

On May 12, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice M R Shah, now retired, stayed the promotion of lower judicial officers in the state.

The promotions were in violation of the Gujarat State Judicial Service Rules 2005, amended in 2011, which state that promotions must be made on the principle of merit-cum-seniority and on passing a suitability test, the SC said.

Following the SC ruling, the HC restored the original lower cadre of these judges.

The judicial officers, aggrieved by the stay, have moved the Supreme Court. The apex court would be hearing the plea in July.

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