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High Court dismisses all writ pleas assailing State notification

Special Correspondent


Posts are lying vacant and there is an urgent need of judges: Bench

Bench rejects petitioner's contention on marks allotted for viva voce


CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed all writ petitions assailing a Tamil Nadu government notification of July 1 this year calling for application for appointment to 17 posts of District Judge (DJ) (Entry Level), on various grounds.

In its common order, the First Bench, comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam, said since the posts of District Judge (DJ) were lying vacant and there was an urgent need of judges in different places, it was directing the authorities concerned to notify the date and venue of the written examination within six weeks.

The petitions were filed by K. Appadurai of Vadugapatti of Periyakulam Taluk in Theni district and four others. A couple of petitions sought to quash the notification and a consequent direction to the government to publish afresh the notification in a transparent manner indicating the number of vacancies earmarked for applicants with disability as per law.

The Bench said the authorities' stand was fully justified inasmuch as the system of 200 point roster dividing into six classifications granting an equal ratio of 1:1:1 to the disabled category, viz., blind, deaf and the orthopaedically challenged had been followed.

It had been categorically stated that the obligation of filling vacancies as per the three per cent reservation would be carried out by the appointing authority at the time of appointment as per the roster. In that view of the matter, the Bench said it found the impugned notification was transparent and strictly adhered to the rules of reservation.

Hence, the petitioners' contention was misconceived and devoid of substance.

Another ground of attack was that the maximum marks allotted to the written examination and the viva voce should not be 75 per cent and 25 per cent respectively. Citing a Supreme Court decision, the petitioner submitted that the marks allotted for viva voce should not, in any case, exceed 12.5 per cent of the total marks.

The Bench rejected the contention by citing another recent judgment of the Supreme Court, which held there was no constitutional infirmity in prescribing a higher percentage of marks for viva voce/interview for recruitment to judicial service, administrative service and the like.

Rejecting another contention of petitioners that no syllabus has been prescribed for the examination, the court observed that the DJ's post was a coveted one having multiple responsibilities both on the judicial and administrative sides. Therefore, the candidate should have knowledge in civil, criminal and other laws and also basic knowledge in general law.

The court dismissed yet another petition seeking to declare the rules of Tamil Nadu State Judicial Service (Cadre and Recruitment) 2007 unconstitutional and to consequently to quash the notification.

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