Allahabad HC Issues Notice In PIL Challenging Amendment To U.P. Higher Judicial Service Rules
The Allahabad High Court has granted time to file counter affidavit in response to a PIL filed challenging the validity of the amendment to Rule 5 of the U.P. Higher Judicial Service Rules, 1975, raising substantial legal questions warranting further consideration.
A Division Bench of Justice Attau Rahman Masoodi and Justice Brij Raj Singh said, “Having regard to the submissions put forth, prima facie, we find that the matter requires consideration. We leave the preliminary objection open to be considered at a later stage.”
Advocate Ashok Pandey appeared for the Petitioner and Advocate Gaurav Mehrotra, appeared for the High Court and the State and Union of India.
The petitioner argued that the amendment exceeds the eligibility criteria prescribed under Article 233(2) of the Indian Constitution.
It was contended that the recommendation of the High Court to promulgate the amendment under Article 309 of the Constitution unduly influenced the rule-making power, rendering the amendment invalid.
The petitioner challenged the validity of any recommendation made by the Acting Chief Justice, asserting that only the Chief Justice could make such recommendations.
Lastly, the petitioner argued that even if the amendment was deemed valid, the requirement of conducting thirty cases independently by an eligible candidate is arbitrary and violates Article 14 of the Constitution.
Advocate for the Respondent raised a preliminary objection, asserting that the petitioner, being an aspirant for the examination affected by the amendment, has a personal interest and is not genuinely acting in the public interest. He argued that Article 233(2) must be understood in conjunction with Article 233(1), justifying the role of the High Court in making recommendations.
Upon initial review, the Court found merit in considering the matter further and left the preliminary objection open for future consideration. Notices were accepted by the Deputy Solicitor General of India and the Chief Standing Counsel representing the State.
The Court ordered the opposite parties to file a counter affidavit within four weeks and allowed the petitioner to file a rejoinder affidavit within two weeks thereafter. The case is listed for further proceedings.
Cause Title: Trideep Narayan Pandey v. Union of Bharat & Ors.
Petitioner: Advocates Asok Pandey, Nivedita Shukla, Sachin Kumar
Respondent: Advocate Gaurav Mehrotra