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SC to hear in July plea of Gujarat judicial officers whose promotions stayed by it

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear in July a plea of several Gujarat judicial officers whose promotions were stayed by it.

A bench headed by Justice M R Shah, now retired, on May 12 had stayed the promotion of 68 Gujarat lower judicial officers, including Surat Chief Judicial Magistrate Harish Hasmukhbhai Varma who had convicted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala took note of the submissions of senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, appearing for the judicial officers, that they have been reverted back to their original lower cadre by the Gujarat High Court in pursuance of the apex court’s decision of May 12.

Several judicial officers are suffering “humiliation” due to the demotion and moreover, six states in the country follow the principle of seniority-cum-merit for promotion, said the senior lawyer.

“We will list it after the summer vacation in July,” the CJI said, adding they have been reverted back on account of a decision of a coordinate bench of the apex court.

The apex court had earlier said that the promotion of the judicial officers was in violation of the Gujarat State Judicial Service Rules 2005, amended in 2011, which states that promotions must be made on principle of merit-cum-seniority and on passing a suitability test.


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