Judge’s plea to stall elevation of ‘junior’ rejected minutes before oath
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea by a Principal District & Sessions judge from Karnataka challenging the appointment of a judicial officer as additional judge of the Karnataka high court.
The plea by RKGMM Mahaswamiji was taken up by the top court for hearing just minutes before the swearing-in of Padmaraj Nemachandra Desai, who is currently working as Principal judge, Family court at Bengaluru.
“You have come at the eleventh hour. Only 15 minutes are left for the swearing in”, a bench of justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose told Mahaswamiji before rejecting his plea.
The central government had, on April 30, cleared the appointment of Desai and four other judicial officers as additional judges of the Karnataka high court.
The Supreme Court collegium had recommended their elevation ten days earlier on April 20.
Mahaswamiji claimed that four of the five were either his batchmates or senior to him. But Desai was junior to him in service and the appointment of Desai amounted to superseding him, Mahaswamiji submitted.
“It is a case of superseding/passing over of a senior District judge (who was appointed on 25.02.2008 under reserved category i.e., Scheduled caste) by junior district judge and the recommendation of Padmaraj Desai by the collegium is unlawful, arbitrary”, the petition said.