Regularisation Of Court Mangers: Supreme Court Asks Kerala HC To Hear The Plea Expeditiously, Orders Status Quo On Fresh Appointment

first_imgTop StoriesRegularisation Of Court Mangers: Supreme Court Asks Kerala HC To Hear The Plea Expeditiously, Orders Status Quo On Fresh Appointment Srishti Ojha11 May 2021 9:05 AMShare This – xWhile refusing to enter into merits of the plea by two Court Managers seeking regularisation in High Court, the Supreme Court has on Tuesday requested the Kerala High Court to take up the matter on the decided date May 21st 2021. A division Bench of Justice UU Lalit and Justice BR Gavai has directed that status quo as of today, be maintained till the matter is heard by the High Court on 21st.”At this stage, without entering into merits of matter, we request High Court to take up the appeal itself on concerned date on 21st may and till that date, status quo as today shall be maintained.Advertisement While dictating its order, the Court noted that the instant special leave petition has been directed against non grant of any interim relief in pending writ appeal by division bench of HC. The order passed by the High Court discloses that appeal was admitted on 7th April 2021 and it was directed to be posted on 21 May 2021.The Bench made note of submissions on behalf of petitioners that the present petitioners have been working as Court managers in Kerala HC for more than 5 yrs and they otherwise have requisite qualificationsAdvertisement “It has been submitted that some High Courts have already taken decision to regularise service of existing court managers rather than inviting fresh talent. We need not go into these questions as the appeal has been directed to be is posted on 21st May.” the Bench noted.The Bench was hearing plea challenging the non-grant of interim relief by the High Court of Kerala to the petitioner for regularisation of their service as Court Managers in the Kerala High Court. The plea also sought ex-parte stay on the conduct of fresh election process for the post of Court Managers in Kerala High Court.Advertisement Advertisement During the hearing, the Bench asked the petitioners as to what happened in recent recruitment drive, and if they had participated in it.The Bench was informed by Sr Adv Chitambaresh that they did not participate in the drive as they were not qualified as per new the new notification.Sr Adv Chitambaresh submitted that Two other High Courts have already regularised.”What’s been suggested in some of the Committee reports is that these persons should atleast be MBA degree holders as well because kind of management required at level of High court may be completely different fromAdvertisement Advertisement Advertisement Management required at level of District Court. ” the Bench said. “Meritorious candidates were chosen as court managers of the High Court”Chitambaresh said.Bench noted that two submissions are being advanced by the petitioner, that the same judge in judgement separately passed the same day has accepted prayer of regularisation of the manager at District Courts then why make a distinction as far High Court court managers are concerned.The spirit of this court’s orders were correctly understood by two other High Courts in the country.”Look at it this way, should High Courts not have benefit of someone who’s more qualified, more meritorious. Why should the High Court be derived of that” the Bench said”They are experienced” Sr Adv Chitambaresh said.” They are experienced but every order passed in favour of your client was for a temporary duration.” Justice Lalit said. The Bench inquired about the qualifications of the petitioners, to see if they were qualified for the post. The Bench further asked that if the petitioners had those qualifications why didn’t they chose to participate.”There’s a line of decisions particularly in the Kerala High Court.” Sr Adv Chitambaresh responded. “So if you participate you can’t challenge, etc. So therefore you want to sit on those technicality” Bench remarked.”It was pending writ petition and appeal.” Senior Counsel submitted. ” But the HC chose to say you should participate” the Bench said. The Counsel submitted that he has a limited requirement that till the writ appeal is disposed of, the petitioner may not be displaced.In response to petitioner Counsel’s request to not displace them till the appeal is pending, the Bench stated that “There is fresh talent coming up, we don’t want to discourage that fresh talent. In case people are actually vying for a job, and then to br told that there are 2 other people whose petition is yet to be decided. We don’t want the situation where that talent is frustrated” Adv Parameshwar interjected and informed that the petitioners didn’t participate because they didn’t have PSU experience. The educational qualifications and work experience were met but the only problem was PSU experience.”PSU Experience is compulsory?” Justice Gavai asked.”They have made it compulsory. Petitioner 2 fulfill PSU experience because of Air India. Petitioner 1 was working in Vodafone al through and has MBA degree and so does Petitioner 1. Petitioner 2 has PG diploma in management. All IIMs don’t give Degree in Management, they give diploma.” Adv Parmeshwar said. “Then you should have challenged the initial entry requirements, saying that they don’t depict the correct picture. Because you’re right, all these IIMs Bangalore, Calcutta etc give you a diploma, not a degree and they are considered to be top most qualifications when it comes to management discipline. ” the Bench said.The Bench added that “you could have as well said that the requirement that i must have a degree in management is not the correct idea, but you never challenged that””Let my writ appeal be disposed of in two weeks. The Court opens next week in Kerala, let the appeal be disposed of.” Senior Counsel Chitambaresh requested.The Bench then stated ” What we will do Mr Chitambaresh is since matter is posted on 21/05/2021, we will say that let status quo be maintained till that date, and whether a positive interim relief be granted in favour of your clients or not, and whether you fulfill the requirements, depending on that whatever is to be done, let the High Court take a call on 21st”The plea has alleged that the writ petition was wrongly dismissed and hence a writ appeal was filed. However while admitting the appeal, the High Court failed to appreciate that since selection process for regular appointments were to begin from 17th April 2021, non-grant of interim relief would effectively render the appeal otiose.Facts: The plea has stated that the petitioners were appointed as court managers on temporary basis for a term co-terminus with that of the 13th Finance Commission pursuant to a rigorous selection process, and due to their meritorious discharge of duties their tenure was extended from time to time. They were in service without any break till 2021.The plea cited the top Court’s order in the case of All India Judges Association vs Union of India, whereby it was directed that the services of any person already working as a court manager in any district should be regularised by thr State government. According to the plea, this ought to be read as applicable to the High Courts as well.Further, it stated that the Single Judge who dismissed the petitioner’s writ petition on the same day directed that the services of the Court Managers in the District Court be regularised, through judgement dated 29th Jan 2021 in case titled Abdunasser vs State of Kerala.The petitioners have cited the example of High courts of Rajasthan and Gauhati who have followed spirit of the Supreme Court’s order dated 2nd August 2018 and regularised services of the Court Managers in their respective Courts.Grounds: The petitioners took the following grounds to seek the relief:• Kerala High Court has issued advertisement for selection to post of Court Managers and also issue admit cards and released schedule for written examination to be conducted on 17/04/2021 even during pendency of writ appeal.• The petitioners, currently occupying post of Court Managers and their right to be regularised will be irreparably harmed if selection process continues.• Balance of convenience is in favour of the plaintiff as no difficulty or disadvantage would result to the High Court.TagsSupreme Court Fresh Recruitment Kerala High Court Justice UU Lalit Justice BR Gavai Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. 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