The Andhra Pradesh high court registry and the state government were asked on Saturday by the Supreme Court to reply to a plea for quashing a notification for appointment of 18 district and sessions judges.
A bench of justices D K Jain and A R Dave also issued notice to the state public service commission, seeking their replies within four weeks to the plea for quashing the December 22, 2011 notification on grounds of alleged irregularities in appointment of judges in the state.
The order came on a petition by an advocate Bavi Papi Reddy Barrenka, also a candidate to the judges' post under the physically-challenged category.
Barrenka in his petition had accused the high court of amending the appointment rules midway the selection process of judges and appointing them in violation of various rules.
The petitioner claimed that the high court amended the rules by dispensing with the need for viva voce, though it had no power to do so.
He said in the results for the written examination, announced by the high court on August 8, 2011, he had been declared to have been qualified along with 52 others.
The state government, however, suddenly at the behest of the high court, issued an order (Government Order Ms. No.132) on November 16, amending the original rules by deleting the requirement of minimum qualifying marks for viva voce, said Barrenka.
In his petition, filed through Lawyers Knit, he claimed though he got the highest marks in the viva voce he was not selected and instead another candidate Ramulu who got much less marks than him was selected.
"The posts of District and Sessions Judges are very important, flowing from the Constitutional mandate and these persons are bound to be fluent in their verbal expressions.
"Viva voice is the only tool to know their verbal acumen and to say that a candidate would be selected even if he gets zero marks in the viva voice, is nothing but contrary to public policy and is illegal and unconstitutional and hence the selections deserves to be quashed as such," he said.