Dismal state of affairs cannot be left to fester and perpetuate, Allahabad HC on Judicial Vacancies

Dismal state of affairs cannot be left to fester and perpetuate, Allahabad HC on Judicial Vacancies

A Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court recently pulled up the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Government and the State Public Service Commission for the delay in filling judicial vacancies and acting to resolve judicial infrastructure requirements.

The Bench of Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justices Govind Mathur and Yashwant Varma has directed the state authorities to chalk out a time-bound plan to resolve various issues in the arena.

Given the administrative apathy in filling judicial vacancies, a PIL had been filed before the Court, highlighting the following issues:

  • The District Judiciary of the State is facing vacancies of 1217 officers across its various cadres.
  • 751 courts are yet to be made functional since the minimal infrastructure is yet to be provided by the State Government.
  • Courts created in 2012 are not yet functional since land and infrastructure has not been made available.
  • The work of under construction courtrooms has been stalled due to lack of funds.
  • The District judiciary is facing an immense shortage of accommodation where officers may reside.
  • The construction of 422 residences is stalled on account of lack of funds.
  • Major projects of the High Court including but not limited to the Jhalwa Project and the Thirty Court Hall building are also held up due to the paucity of funds.

These issues apart, the Court also observed that the UP government and Public Service Commission were not doing their due to complete judicial recruitment processes already initiated by the Court.

“... although requisite steps have been initiated by the High Court for initiating a recruitment exercise to fill 808 posts across various cadres in the District judiciary, no progress has been made in this respect either by the   U.P.   Public   Service Commission   [“Commission”] or the State   Government.   The proposal of the Court in undertaking the recruitment process itself and thus bypassing the U.P. Public Service Commission has, for reasons unknown, not found favour with the State Government.

Against the requisition sent by the Court for recruitment to 610 posts, the Commission has not even initiated the process of recruitment by the issuance of an advertisement. We were orally informed by Shri M.N. Singh appearing for the Commission that it was yet to receive a requisition from the State Government in this respect. We also note the enormous time taken by the State Government and the Commission to complete a recruitment exercise with the Court being left helpless and unable to comply with the timelines stipulated by the Supreme Court.”

In this backdrop, the Court observed that such a dismal state of affairs cannot be left to fester and perpetuate. To this end, the Bench has issued the following directions:

  • Chief Secretary of the UP Government is to file a personal affidavit with respect to the issues before the Court. He is also expected to disclose a time frame within which the State Government proposes to resolve these issues.
  • The Secretary of the UP Public Service Commission is to file a personal affidavit detailing the reasons for the delay in initiating the recruitment process. He is also expected to disclose a time frame within which the Commission will complete the recruitment exercise.
  • The Principal Secretary of the Law Department and those of the Finance Department and the PWD (as decided by the Chief Secretary) are to appear in person at the next hearing. This is so they can assist in the formulating a time-bound program for resolving the highlighted issues. The Public Service Commission Secretary has also been directed to attend the next hearing.

The matter will be taken up next on September 12 at 3.30 pm.

Read the order:

Allahabad-HC-In-Re-Vacancy-In-The-Cadres-Of-Judicial-Officers.pdf
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