Supreme Court Upholds Rejection Of Candidature To Judicial Post Citing Absence Of ‘Honourable Acquittal’ In Criminal Case

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Supreme Court Upholds Rejection Of Candidature To Judicial Post

Case: Rajasthan High Court vs. Akashdeep Morya

Case: Rajasthan High Court vs. Akashdeep Morya

Coram: Justices KM Joseph and PS Narasimha

Case no.: CA 5733 OF 2021

Court Observation: This is for reasons which are obvious. The incumbent of a judicial post discharges one of the most important functions of the State, that is, the resolution of disputes involving the people of the country. Judges occupying the highest moral ground go a long way in building public confidence in the justice delivery system.

In fact, even in the advertisement, there is a reference to the requirement of the candidate being possessed of character. Character cannot be understood as being limited to a mere certifying of the character by the competent authority. The High Court is involved with the appointment of judicial officers and rightly so, under the scheme of the Constitution. Though the order of appointment is issued by the State, the involvement of the High Court in the appointment of judicial officers essentially flows from its position in the constitutional scheme. The High Court is duty bound to recommend the most suitable persons to occupy the post.

The post of a Civil Judge or a Magistrate is of the highest importance notwithstanding the fact that in the pyramidical structure of the judiciary, the Civil Judge or the Magistrate is at the lowest rung. We say this for the reason that of all the litigation which is instituted in the country, the highest volume of the same takes place at the lowest level. Not many of the cases finally reach the highest Court. It is through the Civil Judge (Junior Division)/Magistrate that the common man has the greatest interface.

Most importantly, the perception of the common man about the credentials and background of the judicial officer is vital. We have only highlighted these aspects as a prelude to consider the facts of the case further. In other words, in the absence of a honourable acquittal, the alleged involvement of an officer in criminal cases may undermine public faith in the system. We would, therefore, think that bearing in mind the age, the nature of the offences in which the first respondent was implicated and the two FIRs, at any rate, in which the matter progressed from the stage of the FIR to the stage of chargesheeet and the manner in which the case ended viz., acquittal based substantially on a compromise and also where the witnesses turned hostile and also the nature of the post for which the first respondent was a candidate, the matter should have been approached differently by the High Court.

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Keywords

Supreme Court, Rejection Of Candidature, Judicial Post, Honourable Acquittal, Criminal Case


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