Now, it's HC staff against Chief Justice

Now, it's HC staff against Chief Justice

P D Dinakaran

The beleaguered Karnataka Chief Justice P D Dinakaran already under a cloud due to allegations of land grabbing, is facing a challenge from his own staff at the High Court.
Over 100 clerical staff have filed several writ petitions in the High Court alleging flouting of norms in recruitment and promotions by the Chief Justice. The contentious issue relates to promotions to the post of Assistant Registrar from Section Officer, Second Division Assistant from Group ‘D’ category, Senior Assistant from First Division Assistant and First Division Assistant/Steno from Second Division Assistant.

The petitioners, who have named the Chief Justice and Registrar General as respondents, have claimed that the CJ promoted his favourites denying the opportunity to the employees in line. They have sought to annul the promotions.

“People approach the court whenever injustice is caused in recruitment or promotion in any department. Several of such cases are heard by the Chief Justice himself. But if he himself is responsible for such transgressions, where are we supposed to go?” a High Court staff questioned. All the petitions are expected to be heard in January, when the Court reopens after winter vacation. Sources in the High Court said that the Chief Justice is looking into the petitions at present.

This is not the first time that writ petitions have been filed against the CJ. The High Court had earlier dismissed an appeal which sought to annul recruitments to the post of the Second Division Assistant. The petitioners had alleged that appointments were made in violation of the rule that the candidates must be graduates and that those with a pass in second PUC had been recruited.

Justice V G Sabhahit, who dismissed the petition had opined that the recruitment to posts in High Court lay at the discretion of the Chief Justice. The decision has now been challenged in the Supreme Court. The advocate for the petitioners, M S Padmarajaiah, said that they have sought to know the statute under which the CJ is vested with such sweeping powers.

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