High Court of Kerala v. Reshma A. & Others - Synopsis
Deyasini Das 18 Jun 2021

High Court of Kerala v. Reshma A. & Others

(2021) 3 SCC 755

Kerala HC issued a notification on the 1st of February, 2021, allowing applications for the designation of Munsiff- Magistrate needed in Kerala Judicial Service. This was brought against usual vacancies and an advance called ‘NCA (No Candidates Available)’. 37 "probable" vacancies were informed including 1 opportunity held for handicapped people, for arrangement by direct enlistment and enrollment by the move. 8 vacancies were allowed under the NCA classification. After the assessment, a rundown of competitors qualified for determination was distributed on February 20, 2020. The excellence list arranged by the appellant was proved by the Governor and was advised by the Government of Kerala through a notice dated May 7, 2020. Via this notice, 32 competitors were selected as Munsiff-Magistrate learners by direct enlistment for the year 2019 against customary opportunities and 5 applicants were consequently delegated against NCA. Thereafter, under Article 226 of the Constitution, two petitions were filed before the High Court, asserting that as of 07 May 2020 and from there on; a few vacancies had emerged for the post of Munsiff-Magistrate, which were not determined in the excellence list.

The administrative side was later aggrieved by the judgment passed by the High Court and approached the Apex Court through an appeal. The division bench of the High Court had confirmed the judgment passed by the Single bench stating, that on an exacting perusing of amended Rule 7(2) of the Kerala Judicial Service Rules ("1991 Rules"), opportunities for the post of Munsif-Magistrate which emerge inside a time of the endorsement of the choice rundown by the Governor ought to be topped off from among applicants on the rundown despite the fact that this surpasses the quantity of plausible opening which were advised, except if a new rundown is told inside a year. The Court counted on the constitutional validity as interpreted in Prem Singh (1996) 4 SCC 319 to “state that when an authority that makes a selection advertises a specific number of posts, the process of selection cannot ordinarily exceed the number of posts that has been advertised.” It was also stated that the word “probable” was to be elucidated with the requirements and conditions provided under Article 14 and Article 16 of the Constitution excluding vacancies of upcoming years. Justice Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee also stated that vacancies that might come up in the following years, not being publicized in the election the procedure can't be filled from the election rundown from that year. Further, the court interpreted Rules 7(1) and 7(2) harmoniously, “consistent with the Article 142 directions in Malik Mazhar Sultan (3) (2008) 17 SCC 703 to allow the appeals and set aside the judgment of the division bench of the High Court.”


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