Free Press Journal

Law Minister asks DHC CJ to look into complaints over judicial exam


New Delhi: Amid allegations that kin of sitting judges of Delhi High Court were favoured in the Delhi Judicial Services examinations, Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda has stepped in and asked its Chief Justice G Rohini to look into the matter. Gowda’s letter assumes significance as usually such complaints and allegations are sent to the Registrar General of the high court concerned, but this time the Law Minister himself addressed the letter directly to the Chief Justice.

In his letter written last week, Gowda pointed out that the Department of Justice in his ministry has received several complaints that kin of sitting judges of the Delhi High Court were allegedly favoured in the examination held last year.

He said as per allegations, judges of the high court were involved in the examination process and the kin of sitting judges qualified the test. Gowda is learnt to have named the candidates who qualified in the examinations held last year. The Department of Justice usually writes to Registrars of high courts about allegations of corruption, “but this time the Chief Justice was also informed,” said a senior ministry official.

The petitions addressed to the Law Ministry had alleged that RTI queries regarding the examination process remained partially answered. The petitioners have demanded that 660 candidates who had appeared in the test be re-evaluated.

On an earlier occasion, the Department of Justice had flagged similar complaints in a letter to the Registrar General of the Delhi High Court. The preliminary round of the exam was held on June 1, 2014 and the Mains were conducted on October 10-11 to fill up 80 vacancies of district and sessions judges in Delhi.

Reports had it that only 14 out of 549 general category candidates who sat the Delhi Judicial Service main exam in October 2014, obtained over 50 per cent marks in the written and oral exam – attaining passing marks for recruitment to Delhi’s lower judicial services.

The Delhi Judicial Service exam in 1990 had to be cancelled over complaints of bias. It was re-conducted in 1991. The Delhi Judicial Service exam, as per a Supreme Court order, must be held bi-annually. It began the most recent examination rounds on June 1 ,2014 after 80 district and sessions judge vacancies came up in Delhi.

The exam has three rounds — written preliminary test, written main test and the viva voce. The preliminary round was organised on June 1 and the written main exam was organised on 10 and 11 October 2014. The final results were declared in May this year.