The Supreme Court has recently dismissed the petition filed by Andhra Pradesh judicial officers who were not considered for the appointment of judges in the High Court by the Andhra Pradesh High Court collegium.

The petitioners alleged that their services as presiding officers of Fast Track Courts were not considered by the High Court collegium while making recommendations for the judgeship.

The two-Judge Bench comprising Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Bela M. Trivedi held, “Since the services rendered by the petitioners as Fast Track Court Judges have not been recognized by this Court for the purpose of seniority except for pensionary and other retiral benefits, the plea raised by the petitioners to consider their service rendered as Fast Track Court Judges as a judicial service for the purpose of Article 217(2)(a) of the Constitution, in light of the judgment of this Court what being prayed for, is not legally sustainable.”

Advocate Aruna Gupta appeared on behalf of the petitioners while Advocate Gagan Gupta and Advocate Arvind Kumar Sharma appeared for the respondents.

In this case, the petitioners contended that the service which they rendered as a District and Sessions Judge Fast Track after being appointed in the year 2003 has not been considered by the Andhra Pradesh collegium as a judicial service for the purposes of their elevation to the bench of the High Court.

There was no break in service of the petitioners in the judicial service rendered by them in the cadre of District & Sessions Judge. It was further argued by them that the judicial officers, who were junior to them in seniority in the District and Sessions Judge cadre, were elevated to the Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

The Supreme Court in the above context noted, “… there were 9 vacancies in the High Court for elevation from judicial service and the Registry put the list of 27 eligible officers falling in the zone of consideration in the ratio of 1:3, in order of seniority … they have not completed 10 years of regular judicial service and the names of District & Sessions Judges at serial nos.1, 3, 4, 5, 24 and 27 to 48 were considered for elevation as each of them had completed 10 years of judicial service at the relevant point of time.”

The Court relied upon the case of Kum C. Yamini v. The State of Andhra Pradesh & Anr. (Civil Appeal No. 6296 of 2019) wherein it was held that the petitioners were not entitled to claim benefit of seniority from the date of their initial appointment as District & Sessions Judge Fast Track and other consequential reliefs prayed for.

The Court, therefore, said that the writ petition is without substance and dismissed the plea.

Cause Title- C. Yamini & Others v. The High Court for the State of Andhra Pradesh at Amravathi & Anr.

Click here to read/download the Judgment