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SC junks plea against Karnataka judge’s appointment

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New Delhi, May 4, 2020 –

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a plea challenging appointment of a judicial officer as judge at the Karnataka High Court minutes before the swearing in.

The Bench, comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose, took up the plea through video link at 10 a.m, half an hour before the scheduled swearing in of judges in the Karnataka High Court.

The petition was dismissed 15 minutes before judicial officer Padmaraj N. Desai was to take oath as an additional judge of the high court. Dismissing the plea, the court said it couldn’t entertain such a plea at the eleventh hour, also it interfered with the presidential order on the judge’s appointment.

“Only 15 minutes remain in the swearing in. No court had passed orders like this,” observed the apex court.

The appointment was challenged by Shivamogga Principal District Judge R.K.G.M.M. Mahaswamiji referring to breach of seniority and also sought stay on the swearing in.

The petitioner cited the case of superseding/passing over of a senior district judge, appointed on February 25, 2008 under the reserved category by a junior district judge, and said recommendation of Desai’s name by the Karnataka High Court collegium was arbitrary.

It argued the recommendation was a violation of statutory rules/administrative instructions contained in the official memorandum, dated October 9, 1985. The petitioner also cited violation of Fundamental Rights under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution, challenging the swearing in.

According to the Karnataka High Court Registrar General’s notification, the judges supposed to take oath of additional judges of the high court at 10.30 a.m. are Justice Shivashankar Amarannavar, Justice Makkimane G. Uma, Justice Vedavyasachar Srishananda, Justice Hanchate Sanjeevkumar and Justice Padmaraj N. Desai.  (Agency)

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