IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
2019 (17) SCALE639
Ram Murti Yadav
State of Uttar Pradesh
Date of Judgement
10 December 2019
Hon’ble Justice Ashok Sinha, Hon’ble Justice Mr. Navin Sinha
Constitution of India – Article 32, Constitution of India – Article 226;IPC – Section 120B,IPC – Section 406,IPC – Section 420, IPC – Section 467, IPC – Section 468,IPC – Section 471, IPC – Section 474; Uttar Pradesh Fundamental Rules – Rule 56(C)
Facts of the case
The Appellant while posted as a Chief Judicial Magistrate granted acquittal to the Accused in Criminal Case. A complaint was lodged against the Appellant with regard to the acquittal. The Appellant was informed that on basis of the enquiry, a censure entry had been recorded in his character roll. The order of punishment was accepted by the Appellant without any challenge. A committee of three Judges constituted for screening of judicial officers for compulsory retirement under the Rules recommended the compulsory retirement of the Appellant which was endorsed by the Full Court leading to the impugned order of compulsory retirement. The challenge laid out by the Appellant to his order of retirement before the High Court was unsuccessful.
The key issues before the Hon’ble SC were:
1. Whether the court can interfere in an order of compulsory retirement through Judicial Review?
2. Whether the decision of the screening committee was based on arbitrary or capricious ground?
Decision of the SC
The Hon’ble SC, with respect to the first issue held that the scope of judicial Review of an order of compulsory retirement based on the subjective satisfaction of the employer is extremely narrow and only if it’s found to be based on arbitrary or capricious grounds, vitiated by mala-fides, overlooks relevant material, could there be limited scope for interference.
On the second issue the court held that even a single adverse entry could suffice for an order of compulsory retirement relying upon the judgement in the case of Pyare Mohan Lal vs. State of Jharkhand and ors. In this case the SC had decided on the process of Screening in such matters, which involves a committee of Judges of the High Court duly constituted by the Chief Justice of that High Court and then the report made by this committee is placed before the Full Court which takes a decision after due deliberation on this matter. Therefore, there is hardly any chance to make the allegations of the non-application of mind or mala-fides.
The decision relied on the maxim “A judge is the pillar of the entire justice system and the public has a right to demand virtually irreproachable conduct from anyone performing a judicial function.”
Edited by Sree Ramya
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
(2010) 10 SCC 693