10 April 2022 2:19 PM GMT
The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice in a special leave petition filed by a District Judge in Jharkhand seeking three advance increments for having LLM degree as recommended by the Justice Shetty Commission. A bench comprising Justice L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai issued notice in the petition challenging the judgment dated December 6, 2021 of the High Court which rejected the...
The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice in a special leave petition filed by a District Judge in Jharkhand seeking three advance increments for having LLM degree as recommended by the Justice Shetty Commission.
A bench comprising Justice L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai issued notice in the petition challenging the judgment dated December 6, 2021 of the High Court which rejected the petitioner's plea for three advance increments.
The High Court had dismissed the petiiton on the ground that the circular issued by the State Government gives the benefit of three advance increments for having LLM degrees only to Civil Judges (Junior Division). Since the petiitoner has not challenged the circular, the benefit cannot be given to him, the High Court had held.
Before the Supreme Court, Advocate Devyani Gupta, for the petitioner, argued that the High Court adopted a "hyper-technical approach" by rejecting the petition on the ground that the circular was not questioned. The counsel submitted that the petitioner was seeking the implementation of the recommendations of the Justice Shetty Commission regarding the grant of advance increments to District Judges with LLM qualification.
The bench, which was not initially inclined to entertain the petition, pointed out that the Circular issued by the State Government made it applicable only to Civil Judges (Junior Division).
"The circular is only for lower judiciary and I am a District Judge. The judgment of this court reported in (2002)4 SCC 247 directs that all judicial officers should be given this beneift adopting Shetty Commission and therefore judicial officers who have obtained LLM should be given 3 advance increments", the counsel submitted.
"But if the circular restricts it to civil judges junior division....this was a 2016 circular..you should have challenged it...as long as circular is there..you can't say High Court was hypertechnical", Justice Rao said.
"The High Court could have moulded the reliefs. I am seeking the implemention of the Shetty Commission report. I wanted a similar circular to be issued for me, it was a matter of under-inclusion", the counsel submitted.
At this point, the bench referred to the Shetty Commission report and said that it was only a recommendation to the State.
"See, Shetty Commission only says it is better to reward such officers. There is no obligation on the part of the States. And if the State has restricted only to civi judges junior division, you should have challenged it saying there is discrimination. It is only a recommendation. It is for the Govt to implement", Justice Rao said.
The counsel submitted that the High Court ought to have considered moulding the reliefs, more so in the light of the fact that the Supreme Court has endoresed the Justice Shetty Commission recommendations in the All India Judges Association case (2002)4 SCC 247.
Following the persuasive arguments of the counsel, the Bench agreed to issue notice.
"You did well", Justice Rao told the counsel after issuing notice.
Case Title : Rajendra Kumar Jumnani versus The State of Jharkhand and others | SLP(c) No.5992/2022
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