whether the petitioner had 7 years of standing at the Bar, as on 01-04-2012. = On the basis of the pursuit of L.L.M. in the Distance Education mode, it cannot be concluded that there was a break in the practice of the 5th respondent as a Lawyer. Hence, the writ petition is devoid of merits. Therefore, it is dismissed.

THE HONBLE SRI JUSTICE V. RAMASUBRAMANIAN AND THE HONBLE MS. JUSTICE J. UMADEVI                  

W.P.No.7705 of 2013

27-04-2017

Md. Sultana Basha. Petitioner


The State of Andhra Pradesh, represented by its Chief Secretary to Government, Secretariat, Hyderabad and 4 others. Respond

Counsel for petitioner  : Sri Vedula Venkataramana

Counsel for respondent  : Sri G. Vidyasagar

<Gist:

>Head Note:

? Cases referred:
2012 (6) ALD 98


HONBLE SRI JUSTICE V. RAMASUBRAMANIAN          
AND
HONBLE MS. JUSTICE J. UMA DEVI    

Writ Petition No.7705 of 2013
ORDER: (V. Ramasubramanian, J)  

        The petitioner, who narrowly missed (or perhaps escaped) the
chance of getting selected for appointment to the post of District
Judge (Entry Level), has come up with the present writ petition
challenging the selection and appointment of the 5th respondent.
        2. Heard Mr. Vedula Srinivas, learned counsel for the petitioner
and Mr. G. Vidyasagar, learned senior counsel appearing for the 5th
respondent.
        3. The short ground on which the petitioner challenges the
selection of the 5th respondent is that to be eligible for selection to the
post of District Judge, a candidate should have had at least 7 years of
standing at the Bar. The notification for recruitment in this case was
issued on 15-04-2012 and 7 years of standing at the Bar was required
as on 01-04-2012. The 5th respondent was enrolled as an Advocate in
the Bar Council on 08-07-2004 and hence claimed to have completed 7
years of standing at the Bar as on 01-04-2012.
        4. But it appears that the 5th respondent studied L.L.M. during
the period 2004-2006 and thereafter registered himself for Ph.D. as an
Extra-mural candidate. As per the stipulations of the Standing
Committee of the Academic Senate dated 17-05-2006 of the Acharya  
Nagarjuna University, a person must have had 5 years of service
before he could be allowed to register for a Ph.D. Therefore, the short
contention of the petitioner is that a person, who did Post Graduate
Degree in Law from 2004-2006 and who registered himself for Ph.D. in
2008, could not have practiced as a Lawyer during this period and that
therefore this period cannot be counted for the purpose of reckoning 7
years of standing at the Bar.
        5. But in so far as the pursuit of L.L.M. course is concerned, it
appears that a Division Bench of this Court has already taken a view
in Tirumala Devi Eada v. State of Andhra Pradesh and others  that
the pursuit of Post Graduate qualification in Law, cannot stand in the
way so long as the candidate continued to be on the rolls of the Bar
Council.
        6. In any case, the petitioner claims to have studied a Post
Graduate Degree in Law under the Distance Education mode through
the Centre for Distance Education of the University. Therefore, unless
it is shown that without discontinuing practice a candidate cannot
undergo L.L.M. Course, the 5th respondent cannot be taken to be
disqualified.
        7. It is true that the 5th respondent does not appear to have
indicated in his application form the acquisition of his Post Graduate
Degree in Law. Therefore, it is claimed in the counter affidavit filed by
the Registry of this Court that if the 5th respondent had disclosed this
fact, his application would have been rejected. It is stated in
Paragraph 7 of the counter affidavit filed by the Registry that a
Committee of Judges of this Court constituted for the purpose of
recruitment process specifically resolved that the candidates, who
have pursued Post Graduation in Law after enrolment with the Bar
Council, will not be permitted to count the period spent in pursuing
Post Graduation, as part of the qualifying experience at the Bar.
        8. But on the basis of the counter affidavit of the Registry, we
cannot set aside the appointment of the 5th respondent. What is
reflected in Para-7 of the counter affidavit of the Registry, is a policy
decision. The application of the same to the facts of the present case
should be done only by the Registry. It may be open to the Registry,
on the basis of the disclosure made in the present proceedings, to
initiate action against the 5th respondent. But it is not possible to set
aside his appointment, without the High Court going into the issue on
the administrative side, on the basis of documents and after allowing
an opportunity of hearing to the 5th respondent.
        9. In so far as the pursuit of Ph.D. is concerned, the University
has filed a counter affidavit almost supporting the case of the 5th
respondent. The University has stated in Para-4 of the counter
affidavit that the 5th respondent completed Post Graduation in Law
through the Centre for Distance Education. In so far as Ph.D. is
concerned, the University has taken a stand that the 5th respondent
was admitted to the programme as an extra-mural candidate under the
category of practicing advocate having completed 2 years of practice.
The relevant portion of the counter affidavit of the University reads as
follows:
It is further submitted that under the research admission rules that
existed during the academic year 2007-2008, the 5th respondent was
given Ph.D. admission as an extra-mural candidate under the category of
practicing advocate having completed 2 years of practice. His
application was processed as per the rules and procedure that existed
then which permitted advocates with 2 years of practice, Officers etc., to
join Ph.D. in law as extra mural candidates.  Several Advocates, Police
Officers and others joined Ph.D. in law during 2007-2008 as extra-mural
candidates..

        10. It is contended by Mr. Vedula Srinivas, learned counsel for
the petitioner that the stand taken by the University in the counter
affidavit runs contrary to the minutes of the meeting of the Academic
Senate of the University, which prescribed 5 years of experience as a
prerequisite for an admission to Ph.D. programme.
        11. But the above contention does not take the petitioner
anywhere. Assuming that the University has taken a contradictory
stand, the only result that could be arrived at is that the admission
granted to the 5th respondent for the Ph.D. programme is unlawful.
We are not concerned in this case with the validity of the admission
granted to the 5th respondent for the Ph.D. programme. We are
concerned in this case only with one question as to whether the
petitioner had 7 years of standing at the Bar, as on 01-04-2012.  On
the basis of the pursuit of L.L.M. in the Distance Education mode, it
cannot be concluded that there was a break in the practice of the 5th
respondent as a Lawyer.  Hence, the writ petition is devoid of merits.
Therefore, it is dismissed.  However, we clarify that this decision will
not preclude the Registry of the High Court from taking any action, if
they so desire, on the ground that the 5th respondent did not disclose
his pursuit of L.L.M.  There will be no order as to costs.
        As a sequel thereto, miscellaneous petitions, if any, pending
shall stand closed.
________________________  
V. RAMASUBRAMANIAN, J    
_____________
J. UMA DEVI, J
Date: 26-04-2017

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