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Supreme Court dismisses plea of judicial officers from AP High Court not considered for appointment

A petition filed by Andhra Pradesh Judicial officers has been dismissed by the  Supreme Court.

The petition was filed by the judicial officers who were not given the due consideration during the  appointment of judges in the High Court by the Andhra Pradesh High Court Collegium. 

As per the petitioners, their services as presiding officers of Fast Track Courts were not taken into consideration by the High Court collegium while making recommendations for the judgeship. 

The two-judge Bench of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Bela M. Trivedi said that the services of the petitioners as the judges of Fast Track Court Judges was not recognized by court for the purpose of seniority except for pensionary and other retiral benefits.

The petitioners had raised a plea 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.

The petitioners who were represented by Advocate Aruna Gupta said that  the service which they rendered as a District and Sessions Judge Fast Track since their appointment in 2003, has not been considered by the Andhra Pradesh collegium as a judicial service for the purposes of their elevation to the bench of the High Court. 

The petitioners also mentioned that there was no break in service of the petitioners in the judicial service rendered by them in the cadre of District & Sessions Judge. 

It was also said that many of the judicial officers, who were junior to them in seniority in the District and Sessions Judge cadre, have been elevated to the Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

Hearing the argument, the Supreme Court noted that there were about 9 vacancies in the High Court for elevation from judicial service and the Registry had put the list of 27 eligible officers falling in the zone of consideration in the ratio of 1:3, in order of seniority … they have not completed 10 years of regular judicial service and the names of District & Sessions Judges at serial nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 24 and 27 to 48 were considered for elevation as each of them had completed 10 years of judicial service at the relevant point of time.

The Court relied upon judgment wherein it was held that the petitioners were not entitled to claim benefit of seniority from the date of their initial appointment as District & Sessions Judge Fast Track and other consequential reliefs prayed for.
The Court, therefore, said that the writ petition is without substance and dismissed the plea.

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