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Name of the Case

M. Vasudevan v. The Registrar General and 194 ors.

Factual Background

  • A seniority list compiled on the basis of Civil Judge (Junior Division) recruiting was challenged as being utterly incorrect. Judicial officers who were hired in 2009 submitted the petitions.
  • The Court had formed a committee to investigate whether the Civil Judge recruitment in 2003, 2009, and 2012, as well as the seniority lists generated on that basis, followed the 200-point roster-based reservation procedure used in Tamil Nadu to fill similar positions.

Court’s Observation

  • The seniority of a judge would not be determined by the earlier roster position of the judge in comparison to other recruited judges.
  • The seniority of the judges would be determined by the marks obtained by them in the recruitment exams even when they have been recruited following the roster system for reservation.
  • If the seniority is decided on the basis of the roster system then the Meritorious reserved category candidate (MRC Candidate) would suffer.
  • If the MRC is given a position as a general candidate seat then the slot would be lower than what he would have obtained by roster and if seniority is then decided by roster then if would punishing the MRC candidate.
  • The ruling is not to affect the previous promotions and it would not apply to the civil judge recruitment prior to 2009.

Court’s Directions

  • The seniority list was to be prepared according to the marks obtained by the candidates for the position of civil judge. The older in age would occupy the higher position in case of same marks.
  • The direction is applicable only to the candidates recruited for the post of Civil Judge (Junior Division) after 2009.
  • When a common recruitment method is used, all new recruits must be treated as if they were hired on the same day, and their seniority will be determined by the marks they received on the recruitment exam, regardless of when they joined and what roles they held on the roster.
  • Even if a higher-ranking officer remains in a lower-ranking job than a lower-ranking officer, promotion will be based on the potential vacancy in the promotional post.
  • The new recruitment would be done on the basis of this judgment.

What do you think of the roster system? Do you agree with the Court’s directions? Tell us in the comments section below!

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