SC rejects the last minute statement for the post of judge HC

NEW DELHI: Just 30 minutes before a new additional judge was sworn in, the Supreme Court on Monday accepted a petition filed by a Dalit district and a session judge alleging that the appointment violated the cardinal's seniority rule.

District and District Judge RKGMM Mahaswamiji, in his petition filed through an advocate, held that he was among the top district judges in the state and that the HC College led by the Chief Justice made a serious mistake ignoring seniority and recommending N Desai, who was a minor to him, to be appointed additional HC judge.

A bench hastily constituted by judges Deepak Gupta and overheard arguments via video conference and dismissed the petition, saying that a statement filed at the eleventh hour challenging the appointment of an HC judge could not be entertaining. He also said that the SC rarely entered into the correction of presidential orders to appoint judges to constitutional courts.

Entertaining the petition would have been embarrassing for the SC itself, since the final recommendation for the appointment of HC judges to the President is made by the SC college comprising the CJI and the next two highest ranking judges.

In his petition, Mahaswamiji said that he was a direct recruit for the position of district judge in the Scheduled Breeds category in 2008. He said that the HC had continually victimized him on promotion and that the HC had replaced him even earlier. He cited the case of a minor's promotion to the position of district judge in 2015 while continuing as an additional district judge.

However, with Judges Gupta and Bose's SC bench dismissing the challenge minutes before 10:30 am, the five new HC judges were sworn in as scheduled.