•  •  Dark Mode

Your Interests & Preferences

I am a...

law firm lawyer
in-house company lawyer
litigation lawyer
law student
aspiring student

Website Look & Feel

 •  •  Dark Mode
Blog Layout

Save preferences

Delhi district judiciary rejects meritorious candidates despite over 1000% shortage

Delhi judiciary: 82% choosy
Delhi judiciary: 82% choosy

The Delhi subordinate judiciary recruited at 18.4 per cent of its actual requirement this year, despite getting the nod of the Delhi government to recruit according to requirement.

33 judicial officers were appointed on 28 May despite there being 70 eligible candidates, 50 notified vacancies and 179 vacancies in the subordinate judiciary on that day. The 179 current vacancies exclude the posts that will be created after 65 cadre officers due for promotion since March 2013 are promoted.

By the time the 33 new appointees complete training next year there will be at least 386 total vacancies in the subordinate judiciary, if the currently pending promotions are executed.

These 386 total vacancies will stand to be filled by no more than 33 civil judges until 2016, if the Delhi lower judiciary exam of 2013 is executed at the same pace as the Delhi Judicial Services (DJS) 2011 exam – in almost one-and-a-half year.

Add to that the annual vacancies that will arise in 2015 and 2016 – Delhi’s subordinate judiciary will need 586 candidates in the final merit list of this year’s DJS exam.

70 candidates made it to the February 2013 final merit list of the DJS 2011 exam. Five among those 70 have filed two writs in the Delhi high court challenging their non-appointment to the subordinate judiciary.

14-months, jug one-third full

The Delhi subordinate judiciary had on 19 September 2011 advertised 50 vacancies out of which 23 were to be filled by general category candidates and 27 by reserved category candidates to be selected through the DJS exam.

A preliminary DJS exam was held in December 2011, and was followed by the main exam and an interview. 70 out of 7250 candidates who appeared in December 2011 made it to the final merit list released on 13 February 2013.

23 general category candidates and 10 reserved category candidates from the DJS 2011 merit list of 70 were handed their appointment letters on 28 May, as reported by Legally India. This left 17 of the notified vacancies unfilled.

On 3 January 2013, the Delhi high court wrote to the ministry of law and justice stating that there were 100 total subordinate judge vacancies in Delhi as on 31 December 2011. Legally India has seen a copy of the letter.

This actually leaves 67 vacancies from that year unfilled.

Battle of writs

Two candidates in the final merit list of February 2013, who were not appointed on 28 May, wrote to the registrar general of the Delhi high court pointing out that in light of available vacancies they should be appointed. After their representations were rejected without stating reasons by the registrar general, they filed writs in the court.

One of them has argued that the 67 available vacancies from 2011 should be filled against the remaining 37 general category candidates in the final merit list.

The other petitioner, who is joined by three other rank holders who were not appointed, has argued that at least the 17 notified unfilled vacancies should be filled against general category candidates from the list.

The writs have been listed for issuance of notice on 3 July 2013.

Vacancy mirage

The Delhi high court’s 3 January 2013 letter to the law ministry also states that as of now Delhi needs 442 judges in the next five years and the number may go up. The letter states that this five year plan creates an immediate need for 142 subordinate judges, and the need to recruit 100 judges every year for the next four years.

This requirement was sanctioned by the Delhi government on 29 January 2013 which also stated in its order that, “this issues with the concurrence of Finance Department, Government of NCT of Delhi, vide their U.O. No. 542/DS2 dated 29th of January 2013”. Legally India has seen a copy of the government order.

A right to information (RTI) reply, a copy of which is with Legally India, has revealed that 12 additional vacancies were created in the Delhi lower judiciary in July 2012 after the promotion of 12 cadre officers.

Adding the 67 unfilled vacancies from 2011 to the 12 more from July 2012 and the 100 more created the next year there are 179 available vacancies at present.

A 6 February 2013 letter by the Chief justice of India to the chief justices of all high courts directs them to urge the State governments to increase their annual outlay such that the number of courts in the subordinate judiciary may be doubled at the earliest. A copy of the letter is with Legally India.

However, Delhi has not advertised any subordinate judge vacancies after 19 September 2011 to date.

The Supreme Court, in its May 2011 judgment in Sanjeet Singh V High Court of Delhi, held that the Delhi high court is expected to conduct the DJS exam twice a year and declare the final results of the exam within three months from the date of the main exam. The main exam for the DJS 2011 was held on 9 and 10 June 2012 while the final result was delcared on 13 February 2013.

The petitioners have cited that a former DJS candidate Jay Thareja had obtained an order in the Delhi high court on 15 April 2009, in his writ WPC 8365/2008, holding that if new vacancies arise after the start of the exam but before its final result, due to expansion, promotions, death or retirement, such vacancies can be filled up by candidates clearing the ongoing examination.

The Delhi district courts have meritorious candidates, government funds, and Supreme Court guidelines right in front of them. Which missing link is reducing efficiency by 81.6 per cent?

Click to show 6 comments
at your own risk
By reading the comments you agree that they are the (often anonymous) personal views and opinions of readers, which may be biased and unreliable, and for which Legally India therefore has no liability. If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to LI' below the comment and we will review it as soon as practicable.