The High Court of Kerala has set aside the decision of its administrative committee to increase the cadre strength of district and sessions judges in the state.
Justice PV Asha passed the judgment on a batch of petitions preferred by various judicial officers challenging the decision of administrative committee in this regard.
Referring to VS Sunilkumar vs State of Kerala case, the court observed that the cadre strength of district judges is the permanent cadre of district judges and it is to be determined by the government.
The court also observed that inclusion of temporary posts in the cadre could not be accepted.
“The Government has abdicated its duty to fix the total number of posts in the category of District and Sessions Judges including Additional District Judges which form the permanent strength/permanent cadre of that category, in numerical figures, furnishing the details of those posts, as it had done in Ext.P2 order, without leaving the matter for the decision of the Administrative Committee of the High Court,” the court observed.
It said the government erred in issuing the order without indicating the number and details of posts constituting the permanent cadre, which is the cadre strength of district judges in Category 3, and in re-defining 'cadre strength’.
“The Government has to determine what is the permanent cadre/ cadre strength of the category of District and Sessions Judges in the Kerala Higher Judicial Service and has to specify the number of such posts constituting its strength,” the court said.
Read the Judgment here.