Gujarat courts: Favouritism in appointment process

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Ahmedabad, Jul 15: A response to an RTI application filed by activist Janki Prasad Shah reveals the fact that there has been favouritism in the appointment process of the clerical staffs in a district court in Gujarat, most of them being the relatives of the judges.

Several questions have raised over the transparency in which appointments of these stenographers, clerks and peons were made. Notarised official documents provided by the Dahod District court show that about half of the chosen candidates are either related to judges or other judicial officers.

There were total 80 seats vacant, among which 32 have been filled by those favourite candidates of the judges who had failed to match the age criterion of 18-25 years. It also revealed that one selected candidate was 48 years old and 18 candidates had not passed the Government-approved typing examination, a pre-requisite to apply for the job.

"More than 700 applications were from the district itself. Although all of them were eligible, it was already decided who would be chosen," said Janki Prasad Shah.

Many of the full-time appointees were already working on ad-hoc basis. Documents also revealed that they appointed themselves for the posts. Although Raju Solanki's name figured on the list of peons, it was arbitrarily removed a couple of days later.

Both Raju Solanki and Janki Prasad Shah have approached the Gujarat High Court which supervises all judicial appointments. When contacted, the Registrar General of the High Court said that their demand for nullifying the appointments will be forwarded to the Chief Justice.

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