SC Rejects Plea of 4 Judicial Officers Who Were Not Considered for HC Judgeship by AP HC Collegium

The Supreme Court on Thursday termed as “legally” unsustainable and dismissed the plea of four Andhra Pradesh judicial officers, who contended that their services as presiding officers of fast track courts were not considered by the collegium while making recommendations for appointment of judges in the state high court.

A bench of justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi relied upon a 2019 judgement of the apex court in which it was held that the claim of seniority will depend upon several factors such as “nature of appointment, rules as per which the appointments are made and when appointments are made.”

The top court had then held that when the judicial officers are appointed ad hoc and not under any regular posts then “they cannot claim seniority based on their ad hoc appointments to preside over Fast Track Courts.”

“Resultantly, while rejecting their claim for grant of seniority from the date of their initial appointment as Fast Track Court District Judges and other reliefs, we direct that the appellants and all others who are similarly placed are to be given benefit of counting their service rendered as Fast Track Judges, for the purpose of pensionary and other retiral benefits,” the court had said in 2019.

The judicial officers, in their fresh plea in the apex court, alleged that the service which they rendered as a District and Sessions Judge Fast Track after being appointed since October 6, 2003 has not been considered by Andhra Pradesh collegiums as a judicial service for the purposes of their elevation to the bench of the High Court.

Writing the judgement for the bench, Justice Rastogi said, “Since the services rendered by the petitioners as Fast Track Court Judges have not been recognized by this Court for the purpose of seniority except for pensionary and other retiral benefits, the plea raised by the petitioners to consider their service rendered as Fast Track Court Judges as a judicial service for the purpose of Article 217(2)(a) of the Constitution, in light of the judgment of this Court what being prayed for, is not legally sustainable.”

C Yamini and three other judicial officers also alleged in their plea that the judicial officers, who were junior to them in seniority in the District and Sessions Judge cadre, were elevated to the Bench of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh.

Related Articles

Latest Articles