SC requests Delhi HC to draw inter se seniority list of DHJS mem

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New Delhi, Oct 15 (UNI) The Supreme Court today requested the Delhi High Court to draw a fresh inter se seniority list of the members of Delhi Higher Judicial Service (DHJS) on the basis of the principle of continued length of service, that is, the seniority should be counted from the date of appointment of a sessions judge.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal also set aside the inter se seniority list of DHJS as suggested by the majority view and consequential order of the High Court.

The apex court also requested Delhi High Court to prepare fresh list as expediciously as possible.

The apex court in its 49-page judgement noted, ''If inter se seniority list is finally decided by applying the principle of 'continued length of service', it may bring an end to litigation between the officers of the two groups namely the direct recruits and promotees.

It, therefore, cannot be disputed that the application of Office memorandum (OM) dated July 3, 1986 which does not Ipso facto apply to officers of Delhi Higher Judicial Service would produce inequity for officers from one or other sources and therefore, has to be avoided if a better principle which is fair and reasonable to all can be applied.'' The inter se seniority list dated May 18, 2007 issued by Delhi High Court on the basis of ROTA and KUOTA was challenged by some direct recruits to DHJS.

According to the principle of ROTA and KUOTA, one-third vacancy of Additional Sessions judges in Delhi are to be filled up through direct recruitment from the bar and two-third vacancies are to be filled up through promotions.

Justice Sathasivam, writing the judgement for the bench, also noted if the seniority was fixed in that manner, it would not cause any injustice either to the promotees or to the direct recruits.

Today's judgement will affect the seniority of about 200 Additonal Sessions Judges and Additional District Judges in Delhi who are to be elevated to the High Court on the basis of their inter se seniority.

UNI SC BDP KN2051

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