The Supreme Court of India on Monday reportedly stayed the appointment of a candidate to the District Court as a Judge, after he failed to answer certain elementary questions on law and procedure. The Fast-Track Court Judge was put to test in a packed courtroom by the Chief Justice of India himself.
According to the Times of India Report, the respondent had served as a Fast-track Court Judge in Arunachal Pradesh for 12 years on an ad hoc basis, and was hence eligible to be absorbed as a District Judge. His appointment was however rejected by the Administrative side of Gauhati High Court, after a performance evaluation.
The Judge had also failed to secure 35% marks at the written exam for recruitment of District Judges in Arunachal Judicial Service.
The Judicial Officer was however directed to be appointed as a District Judge by the Gauhati High Court, taking into consideration his length of service. This decision was appealed before the Supreme Court by the Administrative side of the High Court through Advocate Sneha Kalita.
Representing the High Court, Senior Advocate Vijay Hansaria told the Bench comprising Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y, Chandrachud that an earlier SC ruling had clarified that ad hoc Judges had no right to the post and that they would have to undergo written examination.
Noting that the candidate himself was present in the Court, the CJI then posed questions to the Judge, asking him to differentiate between Section 304-I and 304-II of the Indian Penal Code. “You have been a judge for 12 years, so tell us in a suit for specific performance, what is the first thing that a judge would look for in the case?” the CJI further asked. He also demanded to know the provision under which First Appeal is filed.
Fumbling with the answers, the Judge told the Bench that he had been out of touch with law and procedure for the past three years, as he had been consumed with the struggle to be appointed as a District Judge. The Bench thereafter stayed the order of his appointment.