Judicial officers, appointed as presiding officers of Fast Track Courts (FTCs), cannot claim the right to regular promotion like directly recruited judges, as their appointments are ad hoc in nature, the Supreme Court has held.
The apex court said this while dismissing an appeal filed by some judicial officers, who were appointed by promotion or transfer from civil judges to grade-II District and Sessions Judges, challenging a Andhra Pradesh High Court’s order in this regard.
The high court had dismissed their petition against the seniority list of judges, saying that FTC judges cannot be conferred the benefit of seniority on the basis of their continuous length of service.
Referring to two Supreme Court judgements, a bench of justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh said “it is quite clear that the appointments in respect of Fast Track Courts are ad hoc in nature and no right is to accrue to such recruits promoted/posted on ad hoc basis from the lower judiciary for the regular promotion on the basis of such appointment”.
“It has been categorically stated that FTC judges were appointed under a separate set of rules than the rules governing the regular appointment in the State Higher Judicial Services,” the bench noted in its order.
The court said the petitioners were promoted because of the introduction of the FTC scheme.
“They were the beneficiaries of a scheme. While continuing in the post under the scheme, the regular posts in the cadre fell vacant and they were regularised. But prior to that, the respondents were appointed as direct recruits in respect of substantive posts in their quota,” it said.
“The appellants, in our considered opinion, should have been in a position to accept the distinction. But the inter se dispute between the promotees and the direct recruits seems to be a ceaseless affair,” the bench said.
( Source – PTI )