Magistrates, civil judges not eligible for district judges post through direct recruitment: SC

  • The Supreme Court held that members of lower judiciary like magistrates and civil judges are not eligible for direct recruitment to posts of district judges, a route meant exclusively for advocates having seven years continued practice.
  • A bench of justices Arun Mishra, Vineet Saran and S Ravindra Bhat unanimously interpreted Article 233 of the Constitution which deals with the appointment of district judges.
  • Article 233 sub clause 2 states that a person who is already in the service of the Union or of the State shall not be eligible to be appointed as a district judge.
  • Advocates should be in practice in the immediate past for seven years and must be in practice while applying on the cut-off date fixed under the rules and should be in practice as an advocate on the date of appointment. The purpose is recruitment from bar of a practising advocate having minimum seven year’s experience.
  • The top court overruled a Patna High Court verdict of 2016 which allowed the in-service judicial officers to compete with the lawyers for post of district judge saying the law was not laid down correctly.
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