The row over the selection of district and session judges in Kerala has prompted the Supreme Court (SC) to issue notice to Kerala High Court (HC). The notice was served to the HC registry after the candidates who failed to get selected in the Kerala Higher Judicial Services alleged glaring anomalies in the selection process.

 

The petitioners pleaded that the process of selection to the posts of District and Sessions Judges in the Kerala Higher Judicial Services Examination, 2015 was highly arbitrary and unfair. They also pointed out that the selection procedure went against the Article 14, 15, 16 and 21 of the Constitution. The petitioners also alleged that the the High Court departed from the statutory mandate on reservation with a total disregard of the reservation policy and communal rotation.

 

Though the examination notification had clearly stated that the selection process would consist of written examination and viva voce, the HC arbitrarily changed it later, the petitioners alleged. It did not allow candidates who scored below 50% marks in the written examination to appear for the viva voce. "...Neither the Kerala State Higher Judicial Services Special Rules, 1961 nor does the selection notification issued by the HC of Kerala stipulate minimum marks for the viva voce. No addendum notification was issued regarding minimum mark for viva voce," the petitioners stated.

 

“…There is no consistent selection process followed by the HC in the appointment for the post of District and Sessions Judges in the Kerala State Higher Judicial Service from open merit candidates. Though the notifications inviting candidates for selection to the post for the year 2014 and 2015 are one and the same, the High Court has taken apparently conflicting selection process,” the petition alleged.
 

The unsuccessful candidates had approached Kerala Governor and former CJI P Sathasivam seeking his intervention in this issue. They pointed out that the Delhi High Court had