New Delhi: Supreme Court judge Justice MR Shah, who retired on Monday, has clarified that his bench did not stay the promotion of Surat’s Chief Judicial Magistrate, Harish Hasmukhbhai Varma, who had sentenced Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to two years of simple imprisonment in March. The judge, who delivered the order, said the stay passed by him was reported incorrectly in the media. Varma will not fall under the ambit of the stay, he said.
Justice Shah clarifies court's decision
Judges generally do not clarify on their judgments, but Justice Shah felt a wrong message had gone out because of the erroneous media reports.“That order has nothing to do with one person. The issue was about merit-cum-seniority or seniority-cum-merit. The reports on social media said that the bench has stayed all the 68 promotions, but those persons have not read the order. Promotions of only persons falling outside the merit list [and who were promoted based on seniority] have been stayed, he said.“I have read that the gentleman [the Surat judge] is not getting the promotion. That is also not true. He is also getting promotion on merit. He is first among the 68 in terms of merit,” Justice Shah said.
The Supreme Court’s stay order was passed on a petition filed by aspiring district judges challenging the decisions of the Gujarat government and the Gujarat High Court to make appointments on the basis of seniority-cum-merit. It was contended that the same should have been on the existing principle of merit-cum-seniority, as per which merit is given preference over seniority.
Justice Shah has now clarified that Judge Varma will not fall within the ambit of stay, since he is eligible even if the merit-cum-seniority criterion is followed.
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