SC: nativity cannot be a predominant criterion

For allotment of judicial officers between AP and Telangana
Nativity cannot be the predominant criterion for allotment of judicial officers between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the Supreme Court held on Wednesday. The judgment by a Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan was based on the issue of bifurcation of lower judiciary by State-wise strength consequent to the Andhra Pradesh Reorgnisation Act, 2014. The Telangana Judges Association, representing the interests of the lower judiciary of the newly bifurcated State, had moved the Supreme Court against the modified guidelines issued by the Hyderabad High Court to first allot districts in the State to senior judicial officers, who now belonged to the Andhra region. This, the petition, said was causing prejudice to judicial officers natives of Telangana.
Political aspirations
It was submitted that the ratio of judicial officers from Telangana, as compared to those from the State of Andhra Pradesh had always been less. The petition said the main object of the bifurcation was the betterment of the socio-economic conditions and to fulfil the political and other aspirations of the people of Telangana. The High Court had by modifying the guidelines watered down the legislative intent of the 2014 enactment, the Telangana Judges Association had contended.
Public employment
Dismissing the appeal of the association, Justice Bhushan, speaking for the Bench, held that judicial service is a public employment. Any move to make nativity a requirement for “public employment” in the State Judicial Services would be against the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. Besides, the no provision in the 2014 Act makes allotment of State necessary on the basis of place of birth or residence. “When for entering into Judicial Service, no condition can be put regarding residence of particular area for allocation of a State. Consequent to the 2014 Act, 2014, nativity cannot be sole basis,” Justice Bhushan wrote. “It is true that judicial officers belonging to Telangana may have desired to choose or to opt for their 46 cadre in Telangana area. This is a legitimate aspiration. But giving predominance to only nativity is not spelled in any statutory provision or scheme,” Justice Bhushan observed. The court ordered the finalisation of the options of all judicial officers and their allocation in two months.
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/sc-nativity-cannot-be-a-predominant-criterion/article25117194.ece

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