Only Four Candidates Called For Interview In Rajasthan HJS Exam- SC Asks Petitioners To Approach High Court
The Supreme Court today heard a writ petition filed by the candidates who were aggrieved by the results of the Rajasthan Higher Judicial Services Exam wherein only four candidates were called for Interview against the advertised vacancy of 85.
The matter was mentioned today immediately after the lunch before the Bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice JB Pardiwla.
In the exam conducted by the Rajasthan High Court, over 3000 lawyers appeared in Prelims, out of which 779 appeared in Mains Examination, but only 04 were called for interview. The recruitment rules prescribe that three times the number of vacancies may be called for interview. "At least 250 should have been called for interview", said Advocate Prashan Bhushan who sought intervention of the Apex Court in the matter. "File petiton under Article 226", said Chief Justice Chandrachud while expressing concern that qualified candidates are not entering the judicial services through lateral entries.
"We are not getting qualified candidates anywhere in the country for lateral entry into judicial services. This is across the country, those vacancies just remain. We would like lawyers to come", remarked the Bench led by CJI.
Repelling any chances of conflict of interest as doubted by Advocate Prashant Bhushan on examination being conducted by Rajasthan High Court, the CJI said "High Court on judicial side sets aside the actions of administrative side. When you sit on the judicial side, you are answering oath to your office".
The Court, after a detailed hearing, passed the following order and asked the petitioner candidates to approach the High Court on the judicial side.
"In the examination just conducted for recruitment of District Judges in Rajasthan, the petitioner seek to question the result dated October 1, 2022; re-evaluation of paper; and award of bonus marks to the candidates in line with cause of action which was adopted in Pranav Verma vs Registrar General of High Court of Punjab and Haryana (2020) 15 SCC 377 so that candidates equal to three times of the vanacies notified can be called for interviews. On 21.10.2022, four candidates were called for interview on 14.11.2022. We are of the considered view that a challenge of this nature may be instituted before the High Court in a proceeding under Article 226 of the Constitution", the Court directed.
The Court added, "Should the Petitioners institute proceedings before the High Court, we request the learned Chief Justice that it is assigned to the Bench of the Court so that finality may be brought on the process of recruitment expeditiously. Subject to the aforesaid, the petition is disposed of."
The High Court has also been asked to decide as to the candidate's demand for re-evaluation of the answer sheets by a retired judge of the Supreme Court.
Earlier, the Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court had on his administrative side constituted a committee on November 1, 2022, to look into and hear the grievances of the candidates and representatives of the Bar regarding the recruitment for the post of Additional District Judges.