All India Backward Classes and Minorities
Welfare Association Vs. Union of India & Ors  INSC 108
(19 April 1988)
K.N. (J) Singh, K.N. (J) Kania, M.H.
1988 AIR 1322 1988 SCR (3) 613 1988 SCC Supl. 500 JT 1988 (2) 166 1988 SCALE
Delhi Higher Judicial Service Rules:
Additional District Judge-Refusal of Selection grade - Justiciability of.
of India, 1950: Articles 233 and 235- Judicial officer -Promotion to higher
grade/post-Made on criteria of merit-Junior officer bound to supersede his
senior-Integrity of judicial officer -Great asset to administration of
justice-To be given due consideration.
2nd petitioner, a member of the Delhi Higher Judicial Service and working as an
Additional District Judge in a writ petition to this Court, contended that he
was directly recruited to service as a Scheduled Castes candidate and that the
High Court had acted in an unreasonable manner in refusing to grant selection
grade to him on more than one occasion.
of the Writ Petition, ^
1. Where promotion to higher grade or post is made on the criteria of merit,
many a time a junior officer is bound to supersede his senior. In the process
of assessment of comparative merit, supersession of a senior officer may
result. This cannot be helped.[614G-H] In the instant case, the petitioner was
considered on merit along with others, and as the High Court found officers
junior to him suitable for grant of selection grade the petitioner could not be
selected. This Court finds no illegality in the High Court's order. [615A]
Integrity of a judicial officer is a great asset to administration of justice.
It must be given due weight.
petitioner in the instant case, comes from a weaker section of the society and
he has been found to be an honest officer. This fact needs consideration. The
High Court should consider the petitioner's 614 case sympathetically for the
grant of selection grade at the next selection. [615D]
JURISDICTION: Writ Petition No. 5858 of 1983.
Article 32 of the Constitution of India) G.L. Sanghi, M.T. Siddiqi and Irfan Ahmed for the Petitioners.
Dev Singh, C. Ramesh, K. Swami and Miss A. Subhashini for the Respondents.
following order of the Court was delivered:
O R D
Petitioner is a member of Delhi Higher Judicial Service, at present working as
Additional district Judge.
petitioner was directly recruited to service as a Scheduled Castes candidate.
He has approached this Court by means of this petition under Article 32 of the
Constitution with a grievance that the High Court of Delhi has acted in an
unreasonable manner in refusing to grant selection grade to him on more than
one occasion. A number of other allied questions were raised during the course
of arguments but ultimately on behalf of the petitioner only the grievance
relating to the refusal of selection grade was pressed.
heard learned counsel for the parties at a length and having perused the
records and also the annual confidential reports awarded to the petitioner and
other papers produced on behalf of the High Court, we find it difficult to hold
that the High Court has acted unreasonably in refusing to grant selection grade
to the petitioner.
grant of selection grade was considered on the criteria of merit to the members
of Delhi Higher Judicial Service. Whenever a post in the selection grade was
available the High Court considered the petitioner along with other officers
but on a comparative assessment of merit of eligible officers, it granted
selection grade to the officers who were junior to the petitioner and in that
process the petitioner stood superseded. Where promotion to higher grade or
post is made on the criteria of merit, many a time junior officer is bound to
supersede his senior in the process of assessment of comparative merit, which
may result in supersession of a senior officer. This cannot be helped since the
petitioner's case was considered on merit along with others. and as 615 the
High Court found officers junior to the petitioner suitable for grant of
selection grade the petitioner could not be selected. We find no illegality in
the High Court's orders.
we would like to refer one aspect which needs consideration. On a perusal of
the confidential character roll entries and other papers produced before us on
behalf of the High Court, we find that since March 1979 to July 1980 the
monthly statement of work done by the petitioner as assessed by the High Court
on the basis of the report of the District Judge shows that the High Court
rated his work and conduct as "good" and for the years 1982-83,
1983-84, 1984- 85, 1985-86 and 1986-87 the petitioner has been awarded 'B'
grading. No doubt he has not earned 'A' grading but the confidential reports
show that he is an honest officer.
of a judicial officer is a great asset to administration of justice, it must be
given due weight. The petitioner comes from a weaker section of the society and
he has been found to be an honest officer, this fact needs consideration. In
our opinion the High Court should consider the petitioner's case
sympathetically for the grant of selection grade in the light of our
observations at the next selection.
petition is disposed of accordingly, there will be no order as to costs.
Petition disposed of.