Rajendra Kumar Shrivas vs State of Madhya Pradesh and others
Date of Order:
13th March, 2023
Justice M R Shah and C T Ravikumar
Petitioner: Rajendra Kumar Shrivas
Defendant: State of Madhya Pradesh and others
The original writ petitioner No. 1 filed the current appeal because he felt wronged and unsatisfied by the impugned judgement and order dated 23.02.2018 issued by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Principal Seat at Jabalpur in Writ Petition No. 3190/2018, by which the High Court dismissed the said writ petition by ruling that the original writ petitioners are not entitled to seek a writ of quo warranto.
It was argued before the High Court on behalf of the original writ petitioners that the High Court of Madhya Pradesh has exceeded the quota despite the directives given by this Court in the case of All India Judges' Association and Others v. Union of India and Others, reported in (2010) 15 SCC 170. The directive directed all High Courts to fill up the posts in the higher judiciary by reserving 10% seats to be filled up by limited departmental competitive examination. It is/was the case on behalf of the original writ petitioners that despite the specific direction issued by this Court directing all the High Courts to see that the existing Service Rules be amended positively with effect from 1.1.2011, the High Court of Madhya Pradesh did not amend the rules providing 10% seats to be filled up by limited departmental competitive examination.
The initial writ petitioners requested the aforementioned reliefs, but according to the challenged judgement and decree, the High Court has determined that they were actually asking for a writ of quo warranto. It cannot be stated that the aforementioned reliefs are quo warranto reliefs. Instead of returning the case to the Supreme Court, however, we have examined the facts and the issues at hand.
Learned counsel representing the High Court claims that although the Recruitment Rules were initially amended by the High Court in 2005, they were later overturned by the High Court and the matter was brought before this Court. Subsequently, after the proceedings before this Court were concluded in 2018, the High Court amended the Recruitment Rules in accordance with the directives issued by this Court in the case of the All India Judges' Association (supra).
Asserting further that no redress can be provided by quashing and setting aside the appointments made in excess of the quota above 10%, learned counsel sitting on behalf of the High Court has made this argument. heard in-depth from the wise counsel for the relevant parties
In the All India Judges' Association case (supra), this Court specifically ordered that, as of the date of the judgement, 10% of seats would be filled through a limited departmental competitive examination, 65% of seats would be filled by regular promotion of Civil Judges (Senior Division), and 25% of seats would be filled through direct recruitment from the Bar. This Court further ordered that vacant positions are to be replaced through regular promotion in accordance with the applicable Service Regulations if candidates are not available for 10% of the seats or are unable to pass the examination.
This Court also further directed that all the High Courts to take steps to see that current Service Regulations be amended positively with effect from 1.1.2011. This Court further ordered that, if the Regulations are not appropriately changed, the said order shall govern and subsequent hiring beginning on January 1, 2011, shall be continued as instructed.
Hence, starting on January 1, 2011, only 10% of seats must be filled through a limited departmental competitive examination in accordance with the directives given by this Court in the aforementioned ruling. Hence, any appointment that exceeds the 10% of seats filled through a limited departmental competitive examination must be viewed as exceeding the quota.
In this instance, there were 740 sanctioned postings for the year 2017. As a result, 78 positions were filled by limited departmental examination versus the 74 seats that were to be filled by limited departmental competitive examination. Later, 11 additional positions were posted, and 5 of those positions were filled. As a result, exceeding the 10% seat quota for limited departmental competitive examination, the positions were filled through limited departmental competitive examination.
As stated above and as instructed by this Court, starting on January 1, 2011, 10% of the available positions were to be filled through a limited departmental competitive examination. Hence, starting on January 1, 2011, the High Court must modify the postings, and if any appointments are discovered to have been made exceeding 10% of the available seats in a given recruitment, the same must be rectified in subsequent recruitment.
No relief can be given to the original writ petitioners on the challenges to appointments made in excess of the quota under limited departmental competitive examination since 2007 and the appointments made in the year 2017–2018 if those candidates are not present.
At this point, skilled counsel representing the High Court has vehemently objected to the original writ petitioners' locus by arguing that original writ petitioner No. 1—the present appellant—was a suspended judicial officer who was later forced into retirement. We have, however, addressed the matter on its merits in light of this Court's decision in the case of the All India Judges' Association without further commenting on the location of the original writ petitioners (supra).
The current Civil Appeal is dismissed in the manner stated above.
Because of the foregoing and for the aforementioned reasons, this Court has disposed of the current appeal by directing the following: The High Court of Madhya Pradesh is hereby instructed to follow the directives it issued in the case of the All India Judges' Association (supra), in particular the directives found in paragraphs 8 and 9. It is also instructed to ensure that 10% of the available positions are filled through a limited departmental competitive examination beginning on 1st January 2012.