The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Uttar Pradesh Governor TV Rajeswar's Additional Legal Advisor PK Dubey to report to his place of posting, to be decided by the Allahabad High Court on or before November 24.
"Enough is enough", a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice YK Sabharwal said sending Dubey, who has been with the Raj Bhawan in Lucknow on deputation for over 12 years, to his parent cadre.
The court noted that the issue has been hanging fire since June and the Governor has not decided on Dubey's replacement till date despite several adjournments given in the case.
It also sought to emphasize that under Article 235 of the Constitution, it was the High Court which had the power of superintendence over the officers of State Judicial Service and not the Governor.
Subramanian informed the court that the Governor has already decided the name of his new Additional Legal Advisor from among a panel of three judicial officers interviewed by him on October 27. However, a formal communication would be sent to the High Court soon, he said.
The Centre had moved the Court in June last to avert a possible constitutional crisis arising out of the face-off between the Governor and the High Court over Dubey's continuation as Additional Legal Advisor to TV Rajeswar.
The Governor and the High Court had been at loggerheads after the former refused to relieve him despite orders passed by the latter for his return to Judicial Service.
The High Court had transferred him to Ballia as Additional District and Sessions Judge. As the Governor did not relieve him, he could not report at Ballia and was suspended by the High Court for not following its orders.
Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanian submitted that the Governor felt some sort of moral responsibility towards the officer and that Dubey should not be penalized.
He tried to dispel the impression that the officer did not want to leave the Governor's office, saying Dubey always wanted to follow the orders of the High Court. "An innocent officer should not be caught in the crossfire", he added.
Appearing for Dubey, senior counsel Rajiv Dhavan too pleaded that he always wanted to go back to the judicial services as his career prospects including promotions were there and not at the Raj Bhawan.
Dhavan emphasized that Dubey wanted to go back to the judicial service; was ready to join at Ballia or whichever place the High Court sent him and that the High Court should consider revoking his suspension.
However, in its order the Supreme Court said, "there is no question of the High Court being vindictive towards an officer. Rather on the other hand the High Court is supposed to be and is a friend, philosopher and guide to the officers under its supervision under Article 235 of the Constitution."
The court said "it would be open to Dubey to make such a representation to the High Court as he may be advised. We have no doubt that the representation would receive the consideration it deserves."
The court, however, kept the Centre's petition pending and fixed the last week of this month for further hearing.
Earlier, the court had in June last expressed displeasure over the tone and tenor of the letters written by the Governor to the High Court Chief Justice and made it clear that the High Court would have primacy in the matter of transfer and posting of judicial officers.