NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has dismissed a contention by four Andhra Pradesh judicial officers that their services as presiding officers of fast track courts were not considered by the Collegium in making recommendations for appointment as judges in the high court.
A bench of justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi on Thursday termed the plea filed by C Yamini and others as "legally unsustainable".
The top court relied upon its 2019 judgement in 'Kum C Yamini Vs. the State of Andhra Pradesh' (petitioners in present case as well) wherein it was held that the claim of seniority will depend upon several factors such as “nature of appointment, rules as per which the appointments are made and when appointments are made.”
When the judicial officers are appointed ad hoc and not under any regular posts then they cannot claim seniority based on their ad hoc appointments to preside over fast track courts, it said.
“Resultantly, while rejecting their claim for grant of seniority from the date of their initial appointment as Fast Track Court District Judges and other reliefs, we direct that the appellants and all others who are similarly placed are to be given benefit of counting their service rendered as Fast Track Judges, for the purpose of pensionary and other retiral benefits,” the court had said in 2019.
In their fresh plea, the judicial officers alleged that the service which they rendered as a District and Sessions Judge Fast Track after being appointed since October 6, 2003 has not been considered by AP High Court Collegium as a judicial service for the purposes of their elevation.
"Since the services rendered by the petitioners as Fast Track Court Judges have not been recognised 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 said.