Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: The 2-Judge Bench comprising of S.K. Seth, CJ and Vijay Kumar Shukla, J. gave an order in pursuance of a challenge made to an order passed wherein the selection of petitioners for appointment on the post of District Judge (Entry Level) has been cancelled.

In the present case, the petitioners were selected for the appointment on the post of District Judge (Entry Level) pursuant to the process of selection conducted by the High Court for M.P. Higher Judicial Service (Entry Level) Direct Recruitment from Bar, Examination 2017 was cancelled.

According to the contentions placed, it has been stated that the petitioner was included in the final select list under the “unreserved category” candidates. However, by the impugned order the name of the petitioner was deleted. Further, on the basis of the information received under RTI Act, it was revealed that the selection cancelled was due to the pendency of a criminal case under Section 3(2)(v) of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Mr K.C. Ghildiyal, Advocate for the petitioners submitted that after the decision by the committee, charge in the pending criminal case had been quashed by the High Court in Deep Narayan Tiwari v. State of M.P., Criminal Appeal No. 5351 of 2018 , in which it was stated that “ he has been discharged from the offence under Sections 506 and 385 of the Penal Code, 1860 and under Sections 3(1)(r) read with 3(2)(v)(a) of Atrocities Act, 1989.”

Further the point to be noted in the present case in regard to the pendency of the criminal cases is that, the meeting of the committee in which the petitioner was discharged of the charges was held on 18-07-2018, whereas the order of the High Court in Deep Narayan Tiwari v. State of M.P., Criminal Appeal No. 5351 of 2018, was passed on 10-08-2018, which clarifies the point that on the date of appointment of the petitioners, the criminal cases were still pending against them.

“Mere selection would not confer any right as appointment is always subject to character verification of a selected candidate”.

Reliance was placed on by the High Court on State of M.P. v. Abhijit Singh Pawar, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 2555, in which Supreme Court held that: an employer can certainly take into account the job profile for which the selection is undertaken, the severity of the charges levelled against the candidate and whether the acquittal in question was an honourable acquittal or was merely on the ground of benefit of doubt or as a result of composition. Next in the case of Ashutosh Pawar v. High Court of M.P., 2018 (2) MPLJ 419, “a question was referred- whether acquittal in criminal cases is proof of good conduct.”

Thus taking into consideration the decisions as stated above on which the bench placed its reliance, held that there is no merit in the present writ petitions due to which they are to be dismissed. [Deep Narayan Tiwari v. State of M.P., 2018 SCC OnLine MP 967, Order dated 11-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Nilu Agrawal, J. while hearing a civil writ petition ruled that the date of appointment of an employee is the date when he is incorporated into the cadre of his service, and not the date of advertisement under which he was employed.

The instant petition was filed seeking quashing of order by which petitioner was communicated that he was going to superannuate under the New Pension Scheme. In pursuance to Advertisement No. 01 dated 23-11-2004, petitioner had applied for the post of 4th grade employee, but his appointment could be made only on 06-12-2007.

Petitioner’s contention was that since the advertisement, under which he was recruited, pertained to the year 2004, old rules would be applicable to him and he could not be treated to be covered under the New Pension Scheme, which was effective with effect from 01-09-2005.

Counsel on behalf of the respondent submitted that since the petitioner was appointed in the year 2007 and the New Pension Scheme came into force in 2005, he would automatically be covered under the New Pension Scheme.

The Court observed that it had been held by a number of decisions of this Court as well as the Apex Court that the date of appointment of an employee would be the date when he is incorporated in the cadre. Therefore, it was held that as the petitioner was appointed in the year 2007, he could not have claimed the benefit of Old Pension Scheme. Thus, the petition was dismissed.[Arun Kumar Verma v. State of Bihar, 2018 SCC OnLine Pat 2178, decided on 07-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Anil Kumar Upadhyay, J. quashed an office order denying payment of salary to the aggrieved petitioner whose appointment was disputed.

In the present matter, appointment of the petitioner as a teacher and his counseling by the District Teachers Employment Appellate Authority was under cloud. The Appellate Authority, on consideration of the entire facts, directed employment unit to take steps to ensure counseling of the petitioner. However, petitioner’s claim for payment of his salary was rejected on the ground that legality and validity of his appointment was under dispute. Hence, the instant petition.

The Court observed that as the petitioner was regularly working for respondent and they were taking benefit of his work, therefore he was entitled to his full salary. At the highest, on the basis of Appellate Authority’s observations, respondents might take an appropriate decision; but without taking any such decision against the petitioner, denial of his salary was impermissible. It was noted that there was no finding as to the invalidity of petitioner’s appointment. In view thereof, the petition was allowed directing the respondents to pay arrears of salary to the petitioner for the period that he had actually worked until a further decision as to the validity of his appointment is was reached. [Akhilesh Pandey v. State of Bihar, 2018 SCC OnLine Pat 2160, decided on 03-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: This writ petition was filed before a Single Judge Bench of Ashwani Kumar Mishra, J. against an order where respondent was granted appointment on compassionate ground.

Facts of the case were that respondent was the son of the first wife of deceased who was employed as a Class-IV employee in the Junior High School. Respondent was given appointment on compassionate ground whereby respondent had undertaken to take care of the petitioners also. The grievance of petitioner was that he should have been the one to be appointed. Petitioner contended that respondent had not extended any benefit to petitioner and failed to keep his commitment of taking care of other family members. Court observed that the deceased died in the harness and respondent was his heir thus the appointment of respondent on compassionate grounds was not in question and the order passed by District Basic Education Officer approving his appointment did not suffer from any illegality.

High Court viewed that by virtue of Rule 7 of the Rules of 1974 the order was made with the purpose of casting an obligation upon the person, who was appointed to support other family members. If respondent had failed to adhere to his commitment the benefit given to him could be taken away. Therefore, the direction was given to consider the application of the petitioner. [Yashoda Devi v. State of U.P.,2018 SCC OnLine All 2867, order dated 26-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Chhattisgarh High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Ajay Kumar Tripathi, CJ. and Parth Prateem Sahu, J. declared that being an informed decision on the part of the appellant refrains him on refuting it at a later stage.

The appellant has preferred an appeal on the refusal of a direction to appoint him for the post of ASI (Ministerial).

His father was working in the armed forces and after his death, the appellant’s grant of compassionate appointment was considered. But due to the availability of posts and a certain weightage bestowed upon dependants of people dead in Naxal violence, instead of the post appealed for he was granted the post of Constable (General Duty). Accordingly, he was given an option to either accept or refuse the decision to which the appellant gave an acceptance and subsequently after his joining in the year 2017 he filed for his reappointment for a higher post.

The Court took into consideration the fact that he was not the only one treated in the above matter and thus the issue of arbitrariness was out of question also once a person accepts appointment on compassionate ground, he cannot demand or beget any change on the post or position which he had been offered by way of compassionate appointment.

Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.[Deepak Kumar Singh v. State of Chhattisgarh,2018 SCC OnLine Chh 655, order dated 15-11-2018]

 

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: A Bench comprising of Uday U. Lalit and Dr D.Y. Chandrachud, JJ. allowed an appeal filed against the judgment of the Madhya Pradesh High Court whereby the State was directed to appoint the respondent on the post concerned in case his name found a place in the merit list.

In 2012, the Professional Examination Board, Madhya Pradesh invited applications for filling posts of subedars, platoon commanders and inspectors of police. The respondent participated in the selection process and tendered an affidavit as per the requirements wherein he disclosed that a case under Sections 323, 325, 506 and 34 IPC was registered against him which was pending on the date of such disclosure but he was never arrested. However, within 4 days thereafter, a compromise was entered into between the parties. Still, further, the respondent was taken into judicial custody on forfeiture of bond for non-compliance. The respondent was selected in the written examination; however, after considering his character verification report, his candidature was rejected. The respondent filed a writ petition there against which was allowed by a Single Judge and further affirmed by the Division Bench of the High Court. Aggrieved thereby, the State preferred the instant appeal.

While deciding the matter, the Court referred to, inter alia, Avtar Singh v. Union of India, (2016) 8 SCC 471. In the present case, it was held that even after the disclosure is made by a candidate, the employer would be well within his rights to consider the antecedents and the suitability of the candidate. While so considering, the employer can certainly take into account the job profile for which the selection is undertaken, the severity of the charges levelled against the candidate and whether the acquittal in question was an honourable acquittal or was merely on the ground of benefit of doubt. Following the Avtar Singh case, the Court held that the employer, in instant circumstances, could not be compelled to appoint the respondent. Therefore, the appeal was allowed and the judgment impugned was set aside. [State of M.P. v. Abhijit Singh Pawar,2018 SCC OnLine SC 2555, decided on 26-11-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: A Bench comprising of Uday U. Lalit and R. Subhash Reddy, JJ. allowed an appeal filed against the judgment of the Allahabad High Court whereby it directed the appellant-Commission to send the names of requisite number of candidates to the Director of Education (Basic).

In 2006, process for selection of 178 Sub-Deputy Inspector of Schools was initiated in the State of U.P. After completion of the selection process, in 2010, results were declared and recommendation was made by the Commission to the Government in respect of selected candidates. It is pertinent to note that in its first recommendation, the Commission had given names of 156 candidates, and other names were provided in subsequent recommendations. After receipt of recommendations, the State Government issued appointment letters; however, 7 of the candidates did not join and their candidature was cancelled. in 2013, the Director requested the Commission to send names of 7 candidates in order of merit, which request was turned down by the Commission. Aggrieved thereby, the respondent filed a writ petition before the High Court which was allowed and the Commission was directed as aforesaid. Challenging the said judgment, the Commission preferred the instant appeal.

The Supreme Court perused the entire record including the policy documents as submitted by the Commission. the Court found favour with Commission’s submission that the recommendation was mainly forwarded by it on 12-08-2010 and the waitlist was to operate for a period of one year. the said request was made after almost 3 years and thus turned down. Per contra, the respondent had submitted that the period of operation of the waitlist would be counted from the date of the latest recommendation. After perusing the Government Orders relevant to the case, the Court was of the view that the period of operation of the waitlist was to be computed from 12-09-2010. In such view of the matter, the appeal was allowed and the judgment impugned was set aside. [U.P. Public Service Commission v. Surendra Kumar,2018 SCC OnLine SC 2525, decided on 22-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: A Division bench comprising of P.R. Ramachandra Menon and Devan Ramachandran, JJ. dismissed a civil writ petition challenging a notification issued by the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) in relation to appointment of the head priest of  Sabarimala temple.

Petitioner, one of the applicants for the post of ‘Melshanthi’ (head-priest) of the Sabarimala temple, filed the instant petition challenging a notification issued by TDB whereby only a ‘Santhi’ (priest) having twelve years experience, out of which ten years being spent continuously serving as a Melsanthi of a temple, would alone be eligible for being selected as the Melsanthi of the Sabarimala temple.

The petitioner contended that the stipulation mandating continuous ten years service as Melshanthi amounts to an illegal classification among the Santhis since it has no rationale nexus to the objective sought to be achieved by such classification.

The court held that the impugned notification was not a classification but it prescribed a specific qualification to identify the best and most suitable candidate. All the Melsanthis were Santhis and therefore, what the notification sought to do was not to classify them into two categories, but to prescribe an additional qualification for the aspiring Santhis, so that TDB could select the best candidate.

Relying on the principles relating to fixing and stipulation of the qualifications of employees enumerated by the Supreme Court in J. Rangaswamy v. Government of A.P., (1990) 1 SCC 288, the High Court held that it was completely proscribed from entering into the said area unless the petitioner showed that TDB’s prescriptions were illegal and void ab initio. Thus, the petition was dismissed for being without merits and holding that the issue in question fell within the realm of policy-creation by the appointing authority – TDB.[Rajesh J. Potty v. Travancore Devaswom Board,2018 SCC OnLine Ker 4115, decided on 12-10-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: The petitioner in the instant case had filed a petition before a Single Judge Bench of J.K. Maheshwari, J., being aggrieved by the order passed by the President, Board of Revenue, Gwalior, MP.

Facts of the case were that appointment of the petitioner was in question where Board of Revenue had set aside the order confirmed by SDO who recognized contesting parties for the post as sons of predecessors of the Kotwar. The qualifications required for appointment to the post in question were the same for both of them. The Board held that the petitioner was not entitled to the appointment on the post of Kotwar due to the fact that he was accused in a criminal case and had been convicted for the same. The petitioner referred to the impugned order urging that respondent knew Marathi as was seen in his mark sheet and according to the appointment criteria for Kotwar in the State of M.P., the language of transcription was required as Hindi, thus the appointment of the respondent was not proper. Thus, it was contended that the Additional Commissioner, as well as the Board of Revenue, committed an error by setting aside the orders passed by the Tehsildar and SDO.

High Court was of the view that just by the fact that in the mark sheet, one of the subjects of the respondent was Marathi did not show that he does not know the Hindi language. The Court observed that criminal antecedents of the petitioner had not been taken note of by the appointing authority which was rightly considered by Board of Revenue. Therefore, the petition, being without merits, was dismissed. [Supa v. Deepa,2018 SCC OnLine MP 804, dated 02-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Vivek Rusia, J., dismissed a writ petition filed by the petitioner seeking a writ of Mandamus against the respondent authorities.

The main issue that arose before the Court was whether an appointment for the position of a guest faculty can be claimed as a vested right.

The Court observed that from the representation filed by the petitioner it becomes clear that the petitioner was given joining by the respondent authorities to the post of guest faculty, however, some untoward events took place between the petitioner and other teachers of the school and hence he was not allowed to perform his duties. Further, an aspirant does not have a vested right to seek a writ from the Court for appointment to a particular post. In several Supreme Court judgments it has been held that even after a person gets selected for appointment to a particular post, the said candidate cannot seek a writ of Mandamus for an appointment since appointment is not a vested right.

The Court held that the petitioner in the instant case cannot claim appointment as a vested right and hence the writ petition was dismissed.[Hemant Kumar Pandey v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2018 SCC OnLine MP 811, order dated 02-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Sanjeev Kumar, J., allowed a writ petition filed against the order of Respondent 1 whereby Respondent’s 3 & 4 were appointed to the post of lecturer in the health and medical department through back door entry.

The main issue that arose before the Court was whether the order of appointment and subsequent order of promotion, passed by the respondent authorities was valid?

The Court observed that in the case of J&K Public Service Commission v. Narinder Mohan; 1994 (2) SCC 630, it was held by the Supreme Court that appointment to gazetted posts should be only done through direct recruitment and the public service commission must fill up 100% of such posts through direct recruitment. In case if there is no exception given under the rules as per which the appointments are done, then no departure must be made from the general rule of completing the recruitment process through public service commission.

The Court held that the appointment of respondent 3 & 4 was contrary to the provisions of J&K Medical Education (Gazetted) Services Recruitment Rules, 1979 and Section 133 (Article 320 of the Constitution of India) of the J&K Constitution, which makes it mandatory for the Government to have consultation with the Public Service Commission in the matter of appointment of the employees to the Gazetted Services of the State. However, since 17 years had passed since the appointment of respondents and they were also given due promotions, hence the Court did not interfere with their respective positions. The Court directed the respondent 1 to treat the petitioner senior to the respondents 3 & 4 and provide him all the consequential benefits of assistant professor with effect from 2001. Resultantly, the Court allowed the petition. [Sudha Sharma v. State of J&K,2018 SCC OnLine J&K 771, order dated 25-10-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: A Single judge bench comprising of Dinesh Maheshwari, J. while hearing a petition praying for the appointment of an arbitrator, ruled that if an agreement between parties provides for arbitration and a dispute arises therefrom then it must be settled through arbitration.

The petitioner company, involved in exporting of fruit products, approached the respondent to process mangoes for export purpose. On respondent’s assurance that it possessed the necessary machinery and expertise to process mangoes, an agreement was executed between the parties. However, respondent delayed in the process of unloading mangoes. Since the season was drawing to a close and there was a loss in business due to the delays caused by respondent, the petitioner gave it a concession for procuring mangoes on its own and a further concession for processing the rejections into mango pulp. But still the respondent did not take steps to procure mangoes and also failed to meet the quantity and quality of the finished product.

Despite these lapses, the respondent raised an invoice which the petitioner refused to clear. In turn, the petitioner sent it a legal notice demanding payment for loss caused due to respondent’s failure to meet its contractual obligations. Since respondent did not revert to the said notice, petitioner invoked arbitration clause of the agreement nominating an arbitrator and called upon respondent to do the same. Respondent’s failure to even nominate an arbitrator, constrained the petitioner to file the instant petition.

The limited aspect for the court’s consideration was whether there existed an arbitration agreement between the parties. On perusal of the agreement executed between parties, the court noted that clause 5 of the said agreement provided that in case of disputes between parties not being settled amicably, the same would be settled in arbitration.

It was held if a dispute between the parties cannot be resolved amicably and there is the failure to appoint an arbitrator, then in such a case, it is just and proper that an independent arbitrator be appointed to adjudicate upon and decide such dispute. Accordingly, the petition was disposed of by appointing a retired judge as an arbitrator.[Pellagic Food Ingredients (P) Ltd. v. Oceanic Edibles International Limited, Civil Miscellaneous Petition No. 300 of 2016, decided on 09-10-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: This petition was filed before a Single Judge Bench comprising of Anand Pathak, J., filed against an order where appointment of petitioner was put on hold.

Facts of the case are that petitioner and respondent applied for a post of Anganwadi worker at Gram Panchayat where petitioner was not appointed. Aggrieved by the above an appeal was preferred before the Collector District Gwalior who directed Project Officer to issue appointment order after which petitioner was appointed. Respondent aggrieved by this filed an appeal before the Commissioner/Additional Commissioner where the stay was granted on the order by which petitioner was appointment.

Petitioner submitted that appellant authority was not having the power to issue an interim order. The case of Morgan Stanley Mutual Fund v. Kartick Das, (1994) 4 SCC 225 was referred stating once powers are not given then it cannot be borrowed. Petitioner contended that the nature of order passed would amount to the final relief which could not have been awarded. Whereas respondent submitted that appellant authority has inherent power to issue an interim order by virtue of its power to hear an appeal.

The High Court viewed that impugned order withholds the appointment of petitioner which is a relief final in nature and interim relief which is final in nature could not have been granted, therefore, impugned order was set aside. [Rekha Jatav v. State of M.P.,2018 SCC OnLine MP 679, dated 06-10-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

“Judicial service is very different from other services and the yardstick of suitability that may apply to other services, may not be the same for judicial service.”

Supreme Court: The 3-Judge Bench comprising of Kurian Joseph, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Navin Sinha, JJ., while allowing an appeal filed by a successful judicial services candidate stated that, “the consideration and candidature in the present case of the appellant are afflicted by a myopic vision, blurred by the spectacle of moral turpitude, reflecting inadequate appreciation and application of facts.”

The factual matrix of the case presents a picture in which it is stated that the appellant being a successful aspirant for judicial service was aggrieved from cancellation of his selection for appointment due to the character verification report.

The contention of the appellant by his learned counsel was that he had honestly and truthfully disclosed his prosecution and acquittal. It has been stated that appellant was being subjected to arbitrary and hostile discrimination by placing reliance of Joginder Singh v. State (UT of Chandigarh), 2015 (2) SCC 377. Counsel for the respondents stated that acquittal because prosecutrix turned hostile cannot come to the aid of the appellant and fact that he had disclosed the same earlier does not exempts his conduct involving moral turpitude.

Therefore, the Supreme Court on the observance and analysis of the facts and circumstances of the case stated that “Employment opportunities are a scarce commodity in our country.” In furtherance to the stated analysis, the Court added that “every individual deserves an opportunity to improve.” Also, the Apex Court concluded by stating that no reasonable person on the basis of materials placed before us can come to the conclusion that the antecedents and character of the appellant are such that he is unfit to be appointed as a judicial officer.

Hence, the respondents were directed to reconsider the candidature of the appellant and an appropriate decision shall be taken in light of the present discussion. The appeal was allowed. [Mohammed Imran v. State of Maharashtra,2018 SCC OnLine SC 1943, decided on 12-10-2018]

Amendments to existing lawsLegislation Updates

In exercise of powers conferred by section 29 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 (15 of 1992), the Central Government vide S.O. 4825(E) notified the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Terms and Conditions of Service of Chairman and Members) Amendment Rules, 2018 on 12-09-2018, to amend the SEBI (Terms and Conditions of Service of Chairman and Members) Rules, 1992, namely:-

2. In the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Terms and Conditions of Service of Chairman and Members) Rules, 1992,-

(i) in rule 3, in sub-rule (2), in the proviso for the word “Member” the words “whole-time member” shall be substituted;

(ii) In rule 19A, in sub-rule (2), the following proviso shall be inserted, namely:-

“Provided that no person shall hold office as the part-time member after he attains the age of seventy years.”

Ministry of Finance

Case BriefsForeign Courts

Constitutional Court of South Africa: Bench comprising of Cachalia, Dlodlo, Goliath and Petse, AJ., Froneman, Jafta, Khampepe, Madlanga, and Theron, JJ., confirmed two declarations of constitutional invalidity given by the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division.

The facts of the case are that a settlement agreement was concluded between Nxasana, former National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), President Zuma, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services whereby payment was made to Nxasana if he vacated his office. Following which Abraham was appointed as NDPP. Issue before Constitution Court was to confirm if the manner in which Mr Nxasana vacated office and Abraham was appointed thereafter were constitutional compliant.

Court was of the view that independence of office of National Director of Public Prosecution (NDPP) is essential to maintain and the fact that former President Zuma wanted to get rid of Nxasana suggested by a blank check offered to Nxasana to fill any amount he wanted, why the president did not go with the inquiry and rather went for huge payment in form of a settlement agreement. Thus, independence of NDPP office was compromised as all the terms of settlement agreement was constitutionally invalid. On the same reasoning Section 12(4) and (6) of the National Prosecuting Authority Act, 1998 were also constitutionally invalidated. This led to the question of constitutional validity of Advocate Abraham’s appointment to which court concluded that if the first act is set aside, a second act that depends for its validity on the first act must be invalid as the legal foundation for its performance was non-existent. Now that the manner in which Mr Nxasana vacated office has been declared constitutionally invalid, it follows that the appointment of Advocate Abrahams is constitutionally invalid. Court though invalidated removal of Nxasana and appointment of Abraham it did not reinstate Nxasana and directed that a new person should be appointed. [Corruption Watch NPC v. President of the Republic of South Africa,2018 SCC OnLine CCSA 14, order dated 13-08-2018]

Case Briefs

High Court is the body which is intimately familiar with efficiency and quality of officers, fit to be promoted as District Judges.

Delhi High Court: The Division Bench comprising of S. Ravindra Bhat and Sunil Gaur, JJ., addressed a petition of a senior Delhi Higher Judicial Service DHJS Officer in regard to “new criteria for appointment to the position of District and Sessions Judge.”

The grievance that the petitioner placed before the Court was that her Fundamental Right to Equality has been violated due to the adoption of resolution evolving new criteria for appointment to the position of District and Sessions Judge by the Full Court of the Delhi High Court. In accordance to the criteria now there was a requirement of “A” grading in each of the previous years of ACR appraisals.

The contentions submitted by the petitioner were that pursuant to the changes in the earlier adopted 2009 Resolution concerning the appointment to the position of District and Sessions Judge, it had adversely affected the progression prospects of many Additional District Judges and now it had affected the petitioner too. Further, she alleged that she was kept in dark regarding the changes made to the resolution as it was never communicated to her. The whole move of modification would jeopardize the promotion prospects in the Higher Judicial Services and also violate Article 16 of the Constitution of India. The next contention put forward was, that Rule 27 of DHJS Rules is arbitrary and unprincipled and was unsustainable.

The High Court, concluding the matter stated above analysed both the issues placed by the petitioner. Petitioner’s grievance with respect to her lack of knowledge or not being aware was not justified and stating that “her judicial work was not up to the mark on the basis that she did not know that the best performance would result in selection of District Judge” is something not to be heard by the Court as “service in a judicial department is a mission, given the solemn nature of judging.” Therefore, the Court found no substance in any of the contentions of the petitioner and dismissed the petition by laying down a 5 pointer note to be kept in mind by the appraisal evaluation authorities, which was as follows:

  • Judicial officer concerned should be award out of 100 marks maximum.
  • 100 marks shall be done with a break up of –
  • 20% for quality of judgments.
  • 25% may be awarded for the institution/disposal ratio.
  • Maximum 20% may be awarded for the total number of final judgments delivered in the contested matters.
  • Maximum of 10% for timeliness, promptness in delivery of judgments.
  • 25% by the appraising High Court judge/committee on the basis of interaction/inspection.
  • Allowance should be given wherever the judicial officer is assigned burdensome administrative tasks.
  • No officer should be subject to appraisal of any one judge or committee for more than 2 Consecutive years.
  • Instructions to be issued to the appraising judges/committees to forward instances of outstanding or poor judgments for due consideration and input for the ACR appraisal.

The petition was disposed of on the note that the abovestated directions in respect to the formulation of criteria for uniform grading of judicial officers be suitably incorporated.[Sujata Kohli v. High Court of Delhi,2018 SCC OnLine Del 1069, decided on 21-08-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of Ranjan Gogoi, R. Banumathi and Navin Sinha JJ., expressed it’s wholly unsatisfactory view on the affidavit filed by Centre on 23-07-2018 in regard to appointment of Lokpal.

During the hearing, Attorney General K K Venugopal submitted an affidavit and stated that a meeting of the selection committee was held but the names for the search committee were not finalised.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner NGO Common Cause, said the Centre has not specified the date of the next meeting and they were actually delaying the appointment of a Lokpal despite passage of a law nearly five years ago.

In view of the dissatisfaction shown by the Supreme Court in regard to the affidavit filed, the Attorney General for India asked the Court to indicate the nature of the detailed particulars that are to be considered necessary to be incorporated in the affidavit to be filed. The matter to be listed in 4 weeks. [Common Cause v. Ajay Mittal, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 737, dated 24-07-2018]

Appointments & TransfersNews

S.O.   3325(E).— In  exercise  of the powers conferred by sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 6 and Section 7 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 (19 of 2010), the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India appointed Justice Shri Adarsh Kumar Goel, Judge of the Supreme Court of India as the Chairperson of the National Green Tribunal with effect from the date of publication of this notification  in the Official Gazette for a period of five  years or till he attains the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier.

Ministry of Environment,  Forest and Climate Change

Appointments & TransfersNews

International Court of Justice: Japanese international law professor Yuji Iwasawa was elected a Judge of the International Court of Justice, the UN’s principal judicial body on 22.6.2018. He filled the vacancy left by 85-year-old Hisashi Owada who retired on June 7. He won the votes of 184 countries of the 193 member nations in the UN General Assembly, and the support of all 15 member countries on the UN Security Council. He will serve the remainder of his predecessor’s nine-year term, which runs until 5.2.2021.
Iwasawa is currently a professor of international law at the University of Tokyo graduate school, and most recently served as chairperson of the UN Human Rights Committee. In addition to chairing the UN Human Rights Committee, he served as President of the Japanese Society of International Law, Vice-Chair of the London-based International Law Association, and as Judge and Vice-President of the Asian Development Bank Administrative Tribunal in Manila, Philippines. Iwasawa’s publications include “Domestic Application of International Law,” “Dispute Settlement in the WTO” and “Third Parties Before International Tribunals: The ICJ and the WTO.”

[Source: today.law.harvard.edu]