In a recent order, Allahabad High Court held that under Article 233 of the Constitution of India, a Judicial Officer, regardless of his or her previous experience, as an Advocate with 7 years practice, cannot apply and compete for appointment to any vacancy in the post of District Judge.
The High Court bench comprising Justice Ashutosh Srivastava and Justice Pritinker Diwaker further clarified that a judicial officer’s chance to occupy the post of District judge would be through promotion in accordance with the Rules framed under Article 233 and Proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution of India.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by 5 members of MP Judicial Services who are working as judicial officers in the state of MP.
In the plea, they contended that even after having 7 years of experience as an advocate, they can’t apply for the post of District Judge since they are judicial officers, who have been barred under Rule 5 of the U.P. Higher Judicial Service Rules, 1975 from applying for direct recruitment.
Aggrieved by Rule 5, they moved the High Court seeking directions to declare the Rule unconstitutional as it excludes the persons possessing requisite experience in the field of law of more than 7 years cumulatively as an Advocate and as a Judicial Officer for being considered eligible to appear in the U.P.H.J.S. Exams.