A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde and comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said: "You become a High Court judge, when you are called. You do not become a High Court judge by saying, 'I want to be! I want to be!'."
The remarks from the bench were made during the hearing of a petition challenging non-inclusion of certain judicial officers from Uttar Pradesh in the Supreme Court Collegium recommendation on August 14, 2020, for appointment as judges of the Allahabad High Court. The petitioners, seven judicial officers, in their plea sought direction from the Collegium to reconsider their cases for elevation.
The Chief Justice said the bench finds it inappropriate that a writ petition has been filed where petitioners say they want to become High Court judges. However, the Supreme Court issued notice on the plea. The petitioners have argued that the High Court Collegium had recommended their names for the elevation, but the Supreme Court Collegium has proposed to elevate only a District and Sessions Judge.
The petitioners argued that their cases were not considered, as they have not completed a period of 10 years of holding judicial office. The petitioners contended that they were the same batch as District and Sessions Judge, recommended for elevation, as they had joined Higher Judicial Services at the same time.
The petitioners argued that the District and Sessions Judge joined judicial service in December 2011, or January 2012, as an advocate after resigning from UP Nyayik Sewa. Citing a break in the judicial service, the plea argued that the judge's services at the UP Nyayik Sewa cannot be included for the purpose of computing the period of 10 years of holding of a judicial office, in accordance with Article 217 (2) (a) of Constitution. Two of the judicial officers retired last year.
The plea argued that several times so many judicial officers have been appointed as judges of various High Courts even after their retirement.