The Weekly Obiter

HIGH COURT JUDGES CAN’T BE COMPARED WITH MINISTERS OR OTHER MEMBERS OF EXECUTIVE OR LEGISLATURE: ALLAHABAD HC: NOVEMBER 02, 2017

November 24, 2017

The Hon’ble High Court of Allahabad in “Misc Bench No. 4464 of 2010 - Ashok Pande and Another v. Union of India through its Cabinet Secretary South Block New Delhi” dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the advocates, where one of the prayers was to place a High Court Judge on par with Ministers. The two Judge Bench of Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice Virendra Kumar observed that, “Secretarial Staff, including Secretaries, irrespective of their ranks are comparable in their status with Officers of Registry of High Court and Supreme Court. Neither they can claim any parity with the Judges nor Government should treat them at par for any purpose.” The Bench also said, “We have no reason to compare High Court Judges at par with Ministers. Both are class apart and mere fact that in some aspect similar provisions are made, it does not mean that there is any comparison so as to bring them at par for all purposes.” The Hon’ble Court further in taking the view that word 'Ministers' can include “Ministers of State” or “Deputy Minister” we find support from a Supreme Court judgment in Rajendra Prataprao Mane and others Vs Sadashivrao Mandalik K.T.S.S.K. Ltd. and others, 2012 (4) SCC 781, wherein Rule 6-A of Rules of Business of Government of State of Maharashtra reads as under:- “6-A. When the Chief Minister is unable to discharge his functions owing to absence, illness, or for any other cause, the Chief Minister may direct any other Minister to discharge all or any of his functions during his absence. When any Minister is likewise unable to discharge his functions, the Chief Minister may direct any other Minister to discharge all or any of the functions of the Ministers during the Minister's absence.” 

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