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Urgent Need To Ensure Existing 175 Vacancies Of Junior Civil Judges Are Filled Up At The Earliest: Supreme Court To Haryana Govt.

Malik Mazhar Sultan V/s U P Public Service Commission & Ors [IA No 53466 of 2022 In Civil Appeal No 1867 of 2006]

The Supreme Court has held that there is an urgent need to ensure that the existing 175 vacancies of Junior Civil Judges are filled up at the earliest.

The three judge bench of CJI. Dr Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, Justice J B Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra has observed that the State Government shall, therefore, within a period of two weeks from the date of this order, take necessary steps to ensure that the recruitment is conducted by a Committee consisting of (i) three Judges of the High Court nominated by the Chief Justice; (ii) the Chief Secretary of the State of Haryana; (iii) the Advocate General of Haryana; and (iv) the Chairperson of the Haryana Public Service Commission.

An application has been filed by the State of Haryana in the proceedings in Malik Mazhar Sultan v/s U P Public Service Commission seeking two directions. Firstly, the recruitment of judicial officers in the Judicial Branch of the Haryana Civil Service be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Part C of the Punjab Civil Service (Judicial Branch) Rules 1951 (as applicable to the State of Haryana). Secondly, the order of this Court dated 12 February 2009 in IA 60 of 2008 filed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana be modified.

The issue bears upon the filling up of 175 posts of Junior Civil Judges.

By its order dated 4 January 2007, the Court underscored that an independent and efficient judicial system is part of the basic structure of the Constitution and that if a sufficient number of Judges is not appointed, the dispensation of justice to citizens would be seriously affected. The Court noted that the judicial system faces problems arising out of delays in the dispensation of justice for which one of the major causes is an insufficient number of judges when compared to the large number of cases pending or in relation to the judge-population ratio. In this backdrop, the Court issued directions, noting that it had become necessary to take steps to ensure that vacancies in judicial institutions are filled on a timely basis.

The process which has been followed in the State of Haryana is that the State Government has notified alterations in the Rules so as to facilitate the selection process to the judicial service being conducted under the supervision of a Committee consisting of three-Judges of the High Court nominated by the Chief Justice, two representatives of the State Government and a member of the Public Service Commission.

The Apex court has held that the State Government has not placed sufficient material before this Court to warrant a deviation from the course of action which has been pursued since 2007, for over fifteen years, including, as recently as by the notification dated 14 December 2020.

“The Public Service Commission shall provide all required logistical support in accord with the past practice followed since 2007,” the court said.

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