Advocate Hargur Jaggi will become the first differently abled candidate to join the judiciary through the Delhi Higher Judicial Services (DHJS) after a post for the same was created in 2014.
Jaggi had cleared the 2015 DHJS Examination after clearing the preliminary exam, the mains and the interview/viva-voce with flying colours. The results of the exam were published yesterday. Speaking to Bar & Bench, Jaggi said,
“The interview board had the seniormost judges of the Delhi High Court. I really enjoyed it, they were very cordial. I was told that my interview went on for the longest duration. And I found out yesterday that I had scored the highest marks in the interview.”
But the process was not all smooth sailing for Jaggi, who was among a group of candidates who successfully challenged the results of the 2015 preliminary exam in the High Court. In September last year, the Bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Rani deemed answers to four questions in the exam incorrect, thus making a significant difference to the results.
Prior to that, the Delhi High Court was also instrumental in introducing a category for differently abled candidates in the DHJS recruitment process. After the enactment of the Disabilities Act, every establishment was obligated to reserve 3% of its posts for the differently abled. Upholding this mandate, in a 2014 judgment, the Division Bench of Justices Ravindra Bhat and RV Easwar held in Nishant S Diwan v. High Court of Delhi Through Registrar General,
“…this Court holds that the non-inclusion of DHJS cadre posts for the purposes of reservation under the Disabilities Act, cannot be upheld; it amounts to discrimination.”
Commenting on the effect of that judgment, Jaggi says,
“It is history in the making, thanks to the 2014 judgment of the High Court. Previously, there was reservation for differently abled candidates only in the Delhi Judicial Services exam. This is the first time is happening for the DHJS. I will be the first differently abled person to become a judge under a post created by the High Court.”
Jaggi was born with a congenital defect by which he has a fused elbow and an underdeveloped shoulder. But that hasn’t stopped him from being an avid mountain climber and training visually impaired children the tricks of the trade. The upliftment of the differently abled is a mission he seems to be wedded to.
“By this, a strong message is sent to the society that the differently abled should not be left behind, and that even we can make a mark in the judiciary. We can bring our experiences to the table and apply them to serve society. Thanks to this huge step of inclusiveness by the Delhi High Court, from one lamp, we may light a thousand lamps.”
Jaggi is a graduate of Campus Law Centre, Delhi University. He went on to do an LL.M. from Georgetown University, before joining the legal profession with Advocate-on-Record Pradeep Bakshi. He subsequently worked with Tuli & Co and Fox Mandal, before starting his own law firm, Luthra & Jaggi.
He has now qualified as an Additional District Judge, a post he will assume charge of, sometime next year.