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SC restrains HC from appointing civil judges

Registrar General summoned with selection records pertaining to the posts

April 29, 2019 11:09 pm | Updated 11:09 pm IST - New Delhi

The Supreme Court Monday directed the Punjab and Haryana High Court Registry not to appoint any civil judge in Haryana without its nod and summoned the Registrar General with all the selection records pertaining to the exams held to fill 107 posts in lower judiciary.

The top court was hearing the plea filed by 92 aspirants to the post of Civil Judge (Junior Division) in Haryana. They alleged that 1,282 examinees, who had qualified the preliminary tests, appeared for the mains and out them only 9 were selected for the interview against a total 107 vacancies.

“Issue notice, returnable on May 3. The Registrar General of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana will be present with the records of the selection, including the evaluation of the answer scripts of all the candidates appeared in the Main Written Examination. No appointments will be made without leave of the court,” said a Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

Discrepancies alleged

The plea, filed through Prashant Bhushan, Amiy Shukla and Shakti Vardhan, has listed out several discrepancies and sought quashing of the result of the Main (Written) Examination of Civil Judge (Junior Division) in the Haryana, which was declared on April 11.

The Bench, which also comprised Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, was hearing the petition challenging the selection process and evaluation method adopted in the examination on the grounds of being “unreasonable, arbitrary and malafide”.

The plea alleged that if the examination’s selection process was not stayed, it would cause irreparable damage to the petitioners and other unsuccessful candidates.

The petitioners alleged that various RTI applications were filed immediately after the result of the main examination seeking disclosure of marks, copies of answer scripts, model answers and marking criteria, but to no avail and the interview tests were scheduled on the basis of the already declared results.

The petitioners have alleged that there was a “serious problem” with the evaluation method being conducted for selecting judicial officers in Haryana.

A total 14,301 students took the preliminary examination held on December 22, 2018 for total 107 vacancies.

‘99% failed test’

“1,282 students, out of 14,301, who were declared successful in preliminary examination, took the main examination held on March 15 and 17, 2019,” it said. The main examination was cleared only by nine students out of 1,282, against the total vacancies of 107 which means that a total of 99.298 % of the students failed the test, the plea said.

“Some of the candidates who have not been found fit for the interview are the toppers and gold medallists in their respective reputed law colleges, the plea said.

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