& Ors Vs. Hon'ble Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, Bangalore  INSC 339 (5 November 1990)
K.J. (J) Shetty, K.J. (J) Agrawal, S.C.
1991 AIR 295 1990 SCR Supl. (2) 552 1991 SCC Supl. (2) 421 JT 1990 (4) 474 1990
Civil Services (General Recruitment) Rules 1977-Rule 6(3)(b)--Second Division
Clerks in subordinate courts--Benefit of age relaxation--Grant of--Humanitarian
229 of the Constitution--Appointment of court staff-Chief
Justice/Administrative Judge--Not an absolute ruler--To operate in a clean
world and remain committed to the constitutional ethos and traditions of his
to the posts of Second Division Clerks in all the State Departments of the
Karnataka Govt. are gov- erned by the Karnataka Civil Services (Ministerial
Posts) Recruitment Rules, 1966 and the power to make selection vests in the
State Public Service Commission. Each Depart- ment notifies the number of
required posts to the Public Service Commission and the Commission after
following the prescribed procedure selects persons. The said Rules are made
applicable to the judicial department also by statutory Rules called the
Karnataka Subordinate Courts (Ministerial and other posts) Recruitment Rules,
1977. Contrary to the said statutory Rules by Notification dated 29.5.1978, the
High Court of Karnataka invited applications for the posts of 40 Second
Division Clerks and 25 posts of Typists and Typists-copyists in the
establishment of the High Court. The notification stated that the selection
would be to fill up the then existing posts and for preparing a waiting list.
number of candidates including the appellants submit- ted their applications.
The then Chief Justice of the High Court appointed as many as 398 candidates as
against 40 posts advertised; he retained 56 on the establishment of the High
Court and the rest were transferred to the subordinate courts. These
appointments were made during the years 1980 to September 1982.
1983 seven persons who had applied for the pests in response to the
advertisement dated 29.5.1978, moved the High Court by means of writ petitions
challenging the valid- ity of all the aforesaid appointments. They urged that
they had better merit than the appointees and the 553 appointments made by the
Chief Justice from time to time without considering their case was arbitrary
and in deroga- tion of the rules of recruitment. The High Court by its order
date 21.1.1988 allowed the writ petitions and quashed the appointments. The
affected persons filed a petition before this Court against the order of the
High Court which was dismissed by this court with certain directions so that
the petitioners could, as far as possible be absorbed.
Petitioners however being dissatisfied, filed the instant review petitions on
the plea that the directions issued by this Court are not likely to ensure to
the benefit of a large number of petitioners, as majority of them had already
crossed the age of 40 years and thus would not be able to avail of the benefit
of age relaxation under Rule 6(3)(b) of the Karnataka Civil Services (General
Recruit- ment) Rules 1977, that they had put in more than 10 years of service
and that it would cause them irreparable injury if they are thrown out of
employment at that stage of their life, as they are not likely to come anywhere
near the zone of selection in the event of fresh selection.
Court admitted the review petition after notice to the Respondents, granted
special leave to appeal after recalling its earlier order dated 30.4.1990; and
allowing the resultant appeals,
The judiciary is the custodian of constitutional principles which are essential
to the maintenance of the rule of law. It is the vehicle for the protection of
a set of values which are an integral part of our social and political
philosophy. Judges are the most visible actors in the administration of
justice. Their case decisions are the most publicly visible outcome. But the administration
of justice is just not deciding disputed cases. It involves great deal more
than that. Any realistic analysis of the administration of justice in the
Courts must also take account of the totality of the Judges behaviour and their
administrative roles. They may appear to be only minor aspects of the
administration of justice, but collectively they are not trivial. They
constitute a substantial part of the mosaic which represents the ordinary man's
perception of what the courts are and how the judges go about their work.
Chief Justice or any other Administrative Judge is not an absolute ruler. Nor
he is a free-wheeler. He must operate in the clean world of law, not in the neighbourhood
of sordid atmosphere. He has a duty to ensure that in carry- ing out the
administrative functions, he is actuated by same principles and values as those
of the Court he is 554 serving. He cannot depart from and indeed must remain
com- mitted to the constitutional ethos and traditions of his calling. Those
who are expected to oversee the conduct of others, must necessarily maintain a
higher standard of ethical and intellectual rectitude. The public expectations
do not seem to be less exacting.
circumstances of the instant case, however, justify a humanitarian approach and
indeed, the appellants seem to deserve justice ruled by mercy.
v. State of Rajasthan,  1 SCR 320 at 326; A.K. Yadav
v. State of Haryana and Ors.,  4 SCC 417; State
of U.P.v. Refiquddin and Ors.,  1 SCR 794; Miss Shainda
Hasan v. State of U.P. and Ors.,  2 All India
Services Law Journal 93; Channabasaviah v. State of Mysore and Ors.,  1
SCR 360; referred to.