Mrinal Satish’s appointment challenged in HC

A petition moved before the Delhi High Court has sought to quash the appointment of Mrinal Satish to the post of chairperson, Delhi Judicial Academy, claiming him to be ineligible for the post.

Earlier this month, a Bench comprising Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A.J. Bhambhani recused from the case. The plea will now be heard by a Bench headed by Justice S. Ravindra Bhat on Monday.

Judicial academies impart judicial education and training to judges. The Delhi Judicial Academy is funded by the Delhi government and administratively controlled by the Delhi High Court.

The petition filed by NGO AGAM, through advocates Ashutosh Kumar Mishra and Isha Garg, has claimed that the appointment of Mr. Satish was in violation of the prescription under the Delhi Judicial Academy (Appointment, Conditions of Service, and Conduct) Rules, 2008.

Prior to his appointment as chairperson of Delhi Judicial Academy, Mr. Satish was a professor of law at National Law University, Delhi, where he was also the Executive Director of the Centre for Constitutional Law, Policy and Governance.

The NGO contended that as per information available on the website of the National Law University, Mr. Satish’s experience as a professor cannot be of more than one-and-a-half year on the date of the appointment.

“Also, considering the credentials of the respondent no.4 [Mr Satish] maximum experience of whatsoever, of respondent no.4 cannot be twenty five years or more,” the petition stated.

Mr. Mishra said that the minimum qualification for the post of chairperson is that the person has been a judge of a High Court, or is a distinguished academician having teaching experience of not less than twenty-five years as a lecturer, and experience as a Professor of Law of not less than seven years.

“Hence under no circumstances the candidature of respondent no. 4 falls within the scope of the eligibility criteria enumerated in the vacancy circular dated August 20, 2018,” the plea said.

It alleged that despite the fact that Mr. Satish was not eligible for the post, he was “illegally and arbitrarily appointed as the Delhi Judicial Academy chairperson by Patron-in-Chief (The Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court) on the recommendation of a Search Committee constituted by the Patron-in-Chief”.

On January 4, 2019, Prof. S.N. Singh, former Dean, Faculty of Law, Delhi University, wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of India requesting for an enquiry into the matter. However, no response in this regard is received till date, the plea further said.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 6:42:02 AM |

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