-Report by Sakshi Tanwar

The question in the present writ petition is whether the past service rendered by the petitioner as a Civil Judge can be counted for the purpose of calculating the qualifying service viz. ten years as Civil Judge, for appointment to the Delhi Higher Judicial Serviceby promotion on the basis of merit through Limited Departmental Competitive Examination (‘LDCE’).


The petitioner joined the HCS as a Civil Judge on June 27, 2012. Following that, the petitioner successfully completed the Delhi Judicial Service. Examination, 2015, and joined the Delhi Judicial Service (‘DJS’) through the proper process, i.e., after being discharged from the post of Civil Judge (Junior Division)-cum-Judicial Magistrate. Upon her request, the petitioner was exempted from mandatory induction training and was given the benefit of her HCS service for the limited purpose of being exempted from training in the DJS, carry forward of leave, Leave Travel Concession and pay protection. In a letter, the petitioner sought that the Court enable her to appear for the LDCE 2022 for promotion to the DHJS by including her previous service with the HCS towards the required service of ten years as a Civil Judge. The petitioner’s request was heard by the Court’s Examination Committee and later rejected.


According to the learned counsel, the petitioner was initially appointed in the HCS on June 6, 2012. He stressed that the petitioner’s remuneration in both HCS and DJS was the same. As a result, he claims, the petitioner made a lateral entry into DJS. He stated that the provision making Civil Judges with ten years of qualifying service eligible for promotion in the 10% LDCE quota for DHJS came into effect only on April 19, 2022, as a result of a Supreme Court of India judicial order in All India Judges Association Vs. UOI & Ors. He contended that the competent authority had not considered the above judgment of the Supreme Court. He stressed that the Government of India had issued an O.M. dated September 1, 1998, for all its workers to count past service for the fulfilment of qualifying service for promotion in the new department.  He contended that the interpretation of O.M. is no longer res integra because it has been interpreted by the Supreme Court in accordance with the petitioner’s claim in Renu Mullick vs. Union of India, (1994) 1 SCC 373.


The learned counsel submitted that the judicial officers nominated to HCS and DJS are subject to distinct service rules and are overseen by different High Courts, and so the terms of service of people subject to various rules cannot be equated as a matter of right.He submitted that Rule 2(e) of the DJS Rules categorically defines the word ‘service’ as the ‘Delhi Judicial Service’ and there is nothing in the DJS Rules which states that the service rendered as a judicial officer in another State is to be counted for calculating the qualifying service. He contended that the benefits of carry forward of leave, LTC, and pay protection, all of which fall within the monetary genre, were granted to the petitioner in accordance with the guidelines provided in O.M. dated 17th August 2016 of the Government of India. He also contended that the petitioner’s entire case violates the well-established legal concept that the fundamental qualification for a position is completely determined by the employer.


The High Court stated that there is no merit in the present writ petition. Accordingly, the present writ petition along with applications stands dismissed but with no order as to cost.

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