Pat HC | Necessary indices which ought to be taken into account before granting promotion to a judicial officer reiterated

Patna High Court: A Division Bench of Amreshwar Pratap Sahi, CJ and Ashutosh Kumar, J., dismissed the petition as they did not find any fault with the decision of the High Court administration in not granting promotion to the petitioner to the higher judicial post of District Judge (entry-level).

The facts of the case was that the petitioner was considered for promotion from Civil Judge (senior division) to the post of District Judge (entry-level) in accordance with the Bihar Superior Judicial Service Rules, 1951 against the 65 per cent quota for the year 2012-2013, but he was not found fit for promotion, as he had failed in viva-voce test and also because of adverse entry in his ACR. An adverse entry in the ACR of the petitioner for the year 2009-2010 and for removal of which adverse remark, a representation was filed by the petitioner, which was rejected by the High Court and such decision was communicated to him in the year 2010 only. The aforesaid decision of the High Court was not challenged by the petitioner. A departmental proceeding was initiated against the petitioner in the year 2010, in which he was served with a punishment of censure. In another departmental proceeding in the year 2013, the enquiry report suggesting dropping of the charges was accepted by the High Court on its administrative side. As such, the case of the petitioner was again considered for promotion for following years of 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2016-17 and 2017-18 but the Selection and Appointment Committee of the High Court thought it proper not to call the petitioner for interview as a departmental proceeding was under contemplation.

The Court held that after perusal of the entire service record of the petitioner, it is clear that the petitioner did not, in the past, conduct himself as an upright judicial officer and, therefore, the denial of promotion to him cannot be faulted with. Further, the Court failed to find any fault with the decision of the High Court administration in not granting promotion to him to the higher judicial post of District Judge (entry-level). [Prabhunath Prasad v. Patna High Court, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 1839, decided on 24-10-2019]

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