Will study feasibility of uniform norms to pick judicial officers: Supreme Court | India News

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NEW DELHI: A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to examine feasibility of a uniform procedure for selection of judicial officers across the country but adjourned hearing by two months on realising that two of the judges would retire in a month, a time span inadequate to complete arguments in a contentious issue and pen a verdict.
At present, the HCs follow different procedures, prescribe different cut-off marks for written examinations for receiving a call for interview and follow varying procedures to compile marks in written and interview. All these had led to filing of petitions in the past by aspiring judicial officers complaining about either last minute changes in the norms governing the selection process, the absence of uniform difficulty levels in the questions for written examination and also about transparency.
As discussions on uniform selection process for judicial officers in different states was picking up before a bench of Justices Indira Banerjee, Hemant Gupta, Surya Kant, MM Sundresh and Sudhanshu Dhulia was picking up, Justice Gupta said the issues raised are important but the question is whether the petitions should be taken up now or after his retirement and Justice Banerjee’s retirement. The bench decided to send the bunch of 15 petitions, which questioned the selection process in high courts of Gauhati, Rajasthan, Patna, Kerala, Gujarat and Manipur and some of which are nearly a decade old, back to chief justice UU Lalit.
Appearing for Gauhati HC, senior advocate Vijay Hansaria formulated six issues — whether in the selection of judges of the subordinate judiciary, cut off marks can be fixed independently for written examination and viva voce and a candidate must secure such qualifying marks to be selected; whether such cut off marks must mandatorily be fixed in the Judicial Service Rules or can be fixed by executive order issued by the HC; whether the cut off marks can be fixed after the selection process has started mid way changing the rules of the game; what shall be the proportion of marks for the main written examination to the viva voce; what should be the percentage of cut off marks for the written examination and for viva voce; and, whether the marks of the written examination should be published and/or made available to the members of the interview board before awarding marks in the viva voce examination.



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