NEW DELHI: The SC has smelled a rat in the recruitment of lower judiciary judges by HC and indicted it for changing the rules.
Five candidates who were to appear for the interview on July 12, 2006 were informed that the interview was postponed.
After three such postponements, the five were jointly called to a chamber by the selection committee comprising five judges of the Delhi HC only to be told that the interview had been put off again.
After six postponements, interviews finally took place and the registry came out with names of three successful candidates. Two of those who appeared for the interview - Himani Malhotra and Vineeta Goyal - moved the SC saying they found, using RTI, that the rules of selection was changed midway by introducing cut-off marks for interview. They added that if there were 16 vacant posts, then all five appearing in the interview should have been selected.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice J M Panchal found merit in their plea and said it was evident that under the original procedure, no minimum marks for the viva voce were prescribed.
"Therefore, prescribing minimum marks for viva voce was not permissible at all after the written test was conducted," said Justice Panchal, writing the judgment for the Bench.
SC directed that Malhotra and Goyal be appointed judges under DHJS and said the HC did not follow selection norms recommended by the Justice Shetty Commission, which had categorically stated that there should be no cut-offs for the viva voce and that the procedure should be thorough and scientific.