SC refuses interim stay on rules to be Civil Judge

SC refuses interim stay on rules of 3 year practice to be Civil Judge

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay the changes in rules making it mandatory for an advocate to practice for three years before appearing as a Civil Judge (junior division) in the state.

A vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and Aniruddha Bose, however, issued notice to the Andhra Pradesh government and the High Court's registrar general on a writ petition filed by Regalagadda Venkatesh.

The petitioner sought a direction to allow submission of his application, saying there used to be a time when the law was the last option. To this, the bench said, "fortunately, the law has become one of the most competitive subjects of late".

Senior advocate N K Mody, appearing for the petitioner, sought a stay on the notification issued on December 3 whereby applications were invited for appointment to the post of Civil Judge (junior division) in the Andhra Pradesh State Judicial Service. 

The petitioner challenged the validity of Rule 5(2)(a)(i) of Andhra Pradesh State Judicial Service Rules, 2007, as notified and amended on July 28, 2017, bringing in three years of practice as eligibility criteria for being violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

He questioned the eligibility requirement of three years of practice as an advocate. He also said that the last date for submission of applications was January 2, there should be a stay on the notification. The counsel said that a fresh law graduate should also be allowed to appear in the examination, in terms of the Supreme Court's 2002 judgment in 'All India Judges Association' wherein the recommendation made by the Shetty Commission for three years practice for Civil Judge (junior division) was done away with.

The court, however, said, "there was no such urgency to entertain this petition during the vacation".

It fixed the matter for consideration on January 5.