K.K. Sharma Versus High Court of Delhi

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5838 OF 2012
K.K. Sharma … Appellant
Versus
High Court of Delhi & Ors. … Respondents

What should be the right balance between equitable claims and the demands of the law is the constant quest of the judicial system. Delicate and complex by itself, the task becomes even more formidable and challenging if a resolution is postponed. Time, often, has the effect of
strengthening equitable claims and blurring the corresponding legal entitlements. This is precisely what had happened in the present case wherein we have been called upon to decide on the correctness of the answer provided by the High Court of Delhi in a situation involving its own employees. According to Civil Appeal No. 5838 of 2012: The Delhi High Court Establishment (Appointment & Conditions of Service) Rules, 1972 (hereinafter for short ‘the Rules’) came into effect from 1.9.1972. The Rules provided for 100% selection to fill up the post of Assistants [later designated as ‘Senior Judicial Assistants’(SJA)]. The selection was to be made on the basis of a test from members of the High Court establishment with minimum 5 years of service. In 1978 i.e. from 20.9.1978 the Rules were amended by providing avenues of promotion to fill up the post of SJA to the extent of 50%. Such promotion was to be made on the basis of seniority-cum-suitability from the cadre of Treasurers/UDCs with minimum 5 years service; the remaining 50% of the cadre was to be filled by selection, as earlier. A decade later i.e. with effect from 16.3.1988 the Rules were once again amended to provide for 100%promotion to the post of SJA, from Treasurers/UDCs having 5 years service. The criteria of promotion remained the same i.e. seniority-cum-suitability….read more