Mr. Shobhit Gaur filed a Writ Petition before the Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Bombay against a communication made to him by Law and Judiciary Department, State of Maharashtra wherein he was declared to be ‘not suitable’ to be appointed for the post of CJJD/JMFC. A Coram consisting of Hon’ble Justice Revati Mohite Dere and Justice R. M. Savant, dismissed the writ petition by opining that requiring the Judicial Aspirants to the courts subordinate to District court under Rule 5(3)(d) of Maharashtra Judicial Services Rules, 2008 is not violative of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution as asserted by the petitioner.

The fact pattern behind his writ petition is as follows- The petitioner i.e. Mr. Shobhit Gaur attained his LLB degree from Pune, Maharashtra post which he enrolled himself at the Bar Council of Delhi and practiced in the said jurisdiction. He appeared for the Judicial Services exams conducted by MPSC wherein he qualified the preliminary as well as main examination, following which he was invited for the interview. Post interview his name appeared in the list of selected candidates, and in furtherance of it, he was called for document verification as well as medical examination. The petitioner underwent all the abovementioned procedure. Amongst the list of 131 candidates who were selected, only first 40 were notified for the appointment. The petitioner stood at Serial No. 128 in the said list, and later on, he was considered to be included in the notification for the appointment, but on 9th April 2018, he received a communication saying that he is declared ‘no suitable’ for the post. Aggrieved by this communication, the petitioner filed an RTI application, wherein he got acquainted that the reason for the above-mentioned communication is non-fulfillment of the requirement of having knowledge of Marathi language. The petitioner initially filed a writ petition before the Apex Court, which concluded in a manner wherein the Hon’ble Supreme court opined that the petitioner shall approach the High Court.

Hence, the present writ petition was heard by the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay. While disposing of this matter, the bench placed reliance on the 118th Law Commission Report, as well as various judgments of the Apex Court like (1) Joint Secretary, Political Department, State of Meghalaya, Main Secretariat, Shillong (2) State of Uttar Pradesh v. Kartar Singh etc. and held that firstly the petitioner has not made any specific prayer to declare Rule 5(3)(b), 2(f) as unconstitutional and the paragraphs dealing with the averments made regarding violation of Article 14 and 16 does not stand backed up with any material proof, secondly the importance of having the knowledge of local language is time and again iterated by the Apex Court as well as the Law Commission of India as it is needed for administration of justice, thirdly Article 309 and 245 has to be read with Article 233, 234 and 235 as these Articles provide a complete code for appointment of persons to the judicial posts below the post of District Judge, fourthly the requirement of submitting a certificate from the prescribed authorities regarding knowledge of Marathi under Rule 5(3)(d) is not fulfilled by the petitioner, as the certificate in his case was to be taken from the Principal District Judge, whereas the petitioner has taken it from District Session Judge, KKD, District Court Delhi.

Therefore, the petition stood dismissed with an order that requirement regarding knowledge of Marathi language in order to be eligible for Judicial Services in Maharashtra is not violative of Article 14.

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Judgment: Shobhit Gaur v. State of Maharashtra