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Madras High Court Forms Committee To Check Adherence To Roster System In Junior Civil Judge Recruitment 2003, 2009 & 2012

Aaratrika Bhaumik
9 July 2021 2:58 PM GMT
Madras High Court Forms Committee To Check Adherence To Roster System In Junior Civil Judge Recruitment 2003, 2009 & 2012
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The Madras High Court on Thursday constituted a Committee pursuant to a plea alleging defects in the seniority list pertaining to the recruitment for the post of Civil Judge (Junior Division). The plea had been filed by judicial officers who were recruited in 2009.A Bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy entrusted the Committee to rectify...

The Madras High Court on Thursday constituted a Committee pursuant to a plea alleging defects in the seniority list pertaining to the recruitment for the post of Civil Judge (Junior Division). The plea had been filed by judicial officers who were recruited in 2009.

A Bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy entrusted the Committee to rectify the alleged defects and prepare revised seniority list for the year 2009 as well as for 2003 and 2012, wherein same mistakes were committed.

The Court noted that for the purpose of recruitment there is a 200-point roster based on the reservation policy which is followed in the State. The roster ensures that slots for candidates belonging to reserved categories and unreserved categories are filled in the stipulated manner.

Summarizing the rules pertaining to the roster, the Court explained,

 "for example, if there are eight categories apparent from the roster, one of them being the unreserved category, all the categories have slots in terms of serial numbers indicated in such roster. If then, there is any cut-off mark set for the selection process, the first exercise is to discover the candidates eligible on the basis of the cut-off mark and arrange their names in descending order of marks obtained and fill in the slots as per their respective categories in declining order of merit. The person with the highest marks in a particular category obtains the first available slot in the 200-point roster reserved unto such category and so on. Likewise for the other categories."

The Bench pointed out that there is only one exception to this general rule- if any reserved category candidate gets the requisite marks that would have entitled such candidate to obtain a slot in the roster as an unreserved category candidate, the relevant slot is taken by the meritorious reserved category candidate as a defacto unreserved category candidate.

"As a consequence, if 20 candidates out of a reserved category obtain the qualifying marks and the first of them gets higher marks than what the last-placed unreserved category candidate requires to find a place on the roster, such reserved category candidate will be regarded as an unreserved category candidate and fill the relevant slot meant for an unreserved category candidate and, to such extent, there will be an additional candidate from the relevant reserved category who will get an opportunity to be recruited," the Bench explained.

However, the Court observed that such a roster system had not been adhered to during the 2009 recruitment process.

"It appears that though the 200-point roster may have been referred to by the State Public Service Commission, the agency tasked with conducting the recruitment exercise in 2009, the exacting rules relating to how to fill in the slots may not have been adhered to. These rules are now judicially recognised and are uniformly applied in the country, irrespective of whether it is a 40-point or a 100-point or a 200-point roster", the order read.

Further, the Court observed that although the grievance has been raised by the 2009 batch of Civil Judges (Junior Division) in the instant case, the State Public Service Commission had committed the same mistake during the earlier 2003 recruitment and the subsequent 2012 recruitment. On identification of such a defect, the Court had sought revised seniority lists for the 2003 and 2012 batches in addition to the 2009 batch.

Accordingly, the Court proceeded to constitute a committee comprising Advocate-General V. Vijay Shankar, Advocate C.N.G. Niraimathi (counsel for the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission), and the President or Secretary of the association of judicial officers in the State. Such a committee was tasked with the responsibility of curing the alleged defects in the seniority lists.

"The committee will go through the lists after obtaining the results of all the candidates who participated in 2003, 2009 and 2012 recruitment examinations and matching the marks obtained against the slots allotted in the revised draft lists in accordance with the law as recognised in the initial part of this order. In the event of any doubt, the principles referred to in the judgment reported at (2003) 5 SCC 604 (Bimlesh Tanwar v. State of Haryana) and the law as laid down by the Supreme Court thereafter should be applied in the context of the State law as to reservation", the order stated.

The Court directed the committee to complete the aforementioned exercise by the next date of hearing which is slated to take place on July 19.

Case Title: N.Vasudevan v. Registrar General 

Click Here To Read/Download Order 



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