New Delhi, March 29, 2022: Affirming that for the purpose of Article 233(2) of the Constitution, an Advocate has to be continuing in practice for not less than 7 years as on the cut-off date and at the time of appointment as District Judge, the Allahabad High Court has refused to grant the mandamus to permit the candidate (petitioner – advocate) to appear in the exam of Judicial Officer in the U.P. State Higher Judicial Services, even though she cleared the preliminary exam.
A Division Bench of Justice Dr. Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Justice Ajai Tyagi observed that the petitioner had not qualified the practicing period just when she applied in pursuance to the advertisement issued by the Allahabad HC through its R.G (respondents).
Going by the background of the case, Bindu (petitioner) applied for being appointed as a Judicial Officer in the U.P. State Higher Judicial Services. Although the petitioner had cleared the preliminary exam, she was not permitted to appear for final exams, on the ground that on interpretation of the rules and placing reliance on the judgment of the Apex Court in Deepak Aggrawal v. Keshav Kaushik and others, (2013) 5 SCC 277, the committee found that the petitioner does not have continuous practice for seven years on date of exam/filling form. The High Court on its administrative side conveyed to the petitioner that she was not qualified as per rules.
After considering the submissions, the High Court found that the petitioner cannot seek appointment as Judicial Officer/District Judge in this calendar year as the petitioner does not fulfil the criteria fixed as per provisions of Articles 233, 234 and 236 of the Constitution of India and the rules for.
In the present case, the petitioner herein from a period of 2017 to 2019 was employed and so there is brake in a legal practice, and the Rules framed have to be construed so as to see that the purpose of the legislation is not withered down, added the Court.
The High Court found that the petitioner ceased to be an Advocate under the Advocates Act, 1961 in August 2017 when she got selected as EXAMINER OF TRADE MARK & G.I.
“It is submitted by learned counsel at that time she surrendered her practicing licence. Thereafter in the year 2019, she was selected as Public Prosecutor in CBI where she is still working. The petitioner is a Public Prosecutor at present but as Public Prosecutor, she has not put in continuous service of 7 years”, added the Court.
Hence, the High Court dismissed the petition.