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Writ petition by judicial officers of Andhra Pradesh seeking to AP HC to consider them for elevation as HC judges

Writ petition by judicial officers of Andhra Pradesh seeking to AP HC to consider them for elevation as HC judges

On February 23, the Supreme Court rejected a writ petition brought by nine Andhra Pradesh judicial officers asking it to order the Andhra Pradesh High Court to consider them for elevation as HC judges. 

The applicants' names were excluded from the seniority list of judicial officials made up by the High Court because they did not have the 10 years of service as judicial officers required by Article 217(2)(a) of the Constitution. The petitioners contend that if consideration is given to their work as ad hoc judges in Fast Track courts, they will meet the requirements of Article 217(2) (a).

According to the Andhra Pradesh State Higher Judicial Service Special Regulations for Adhoc Appointments, 2001, they were appointed on an as-needed basis as District & Sessions Judges to rule over the Fast Track Courts by order dated October 6, 2003. Following the selection process, they were appointed on a regular basis in the cadre of District & Sessions Judge under the Andhra Pradesh State Judicial Service Rules, 2007, by Order dated July 2, 2013. 

The petitioners were ineligible for promotion based on the High Court's seniority list, which was announced on January 5, 2022.

Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela Trivedi's bench rejected the petitioners' contention. The bench noted that the petitioners had already complained about the seniority list in a writ petition to the Supreme Court in 2019. It was decided in that writ petition that the petitioners' time spent serving as ad hoc judges could only be taken into account for pensionary and other retirement benefits, not for seniority. 

The bench rejected the petitioners' current allegation in accordance with precedent.

"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", the bench observed while dismissing their writ petition.

Case Title : C Yamini and others vs High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Amaravathi and another

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