A single Bench presided by Justice P. V. ASHA of Kerala High Court today (On July 9) has allowed the writ petition and directed to fill the vacancies of Munsiff-Magistrate existing as on 7.5.2020/during the currency of the rank list.
A Writ Petition was filed by four candidates qualified in merit list, the examination conducted by Kerala High Court vide notification dated 01.02.2019 are seeking directions to the High Court to fill up all the vacancies of Munsiff-Magistrate existing as on 7.5.2020/during the currency of the rank list.
The contention of the petitioner are that the candidates qualified for selection, was published on 20.02.2020. In the merit list for direct recruitment, there were 69 candidates and by transfer there were 2 candidates. The Government of Kerala thereafter as per gazette notification dated 07.05.2020 appointed 32 candidates as Munsiff-Magistrate trainees by direct recruitment for the year 2019.
The petitioners pointing out that several vacancies arose in the post of Munsiff-Magistrate on account of promotions, to the post of Sub Judges, consequential vacancies on account of promotions made against vacancies of District Judges, as on 07.05.2020 and thereafter.
The petitioners claim that as per Rule 7 (2) of the Kerala Judicial Service Rules, 1961 as amended w.e.f 19.01.2019, the merit list prepared by the High Court, on approval by the Governor, shall be valid till the notified vacancies and the vacancies arising within one year from the date of approval of the list, are filled up.
Therefore, according to them, the judgment of the Apex Court in Malik Mazhar Sultan (3) v. U.P Public Service Commission [(2008) 17 SCC 703] as modified, read with the amended Special Rules mandate filling up of all the vacancies which existed as on 7.5.2020 when the Governor approved the list.
The contention of the High Court is that filling up of vacancies which arose beyond 31.12.2019 would be contrary to the directions of the Apex Court in its order dated 04.01.2007, as modified on 24.03.2009 in Malik Mazhar Sultan (3) (supra) case, though the Special Rules provide that the merit list would remain in force till the notified vacancies and the vacancies that may arise within one year from the date of approval of the list are filled up or till the fresh list comes into force.
The High Court allowed the writ petition of the petitioners and observed that “as long as sub rule 2 of Rule 7 of the Special Rules, as amended on 19.01.2019 is in force, the respondents will have to fill up the vacancies, as provided therein. It would be upto the respondents to seek permission from or furnish explanation before the Apex Court. Public interest also demands filling up of vacancies through a regular process, at the earliest point of time rather than keeping those unfilled or resorting to temporary appointments till the next batch of candidates become available after training. Therefore, the Writ Petitions are allowed. There shall be a direction to the 2nd respondent to forward an additional list of candidates from the merit list dated 20.02.2020 to the Governor for approval and appointment as Munsiff-Magistrates in accordance with rules as expeditiously as possible and at any rate within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the judgment.”
Read the order here;
-India Legal Bureau
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