Plea says no SC/ST judge in Kerala High Court; seeks fair representation of SC/STs, marginalized in judiciary

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A plea has been filed before the Kerala High Court seeking fair representation of Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes and other marginalised communities in the judiciary, especially in the High Court.

The plea filed by a retired ICAR scientist (petitioner) belonging to the Scheduled Caste Pulaya, said that the Kerala High Court currently does not have any judge from Scheduled Caste or other marginalised communities.

Despite the existence of 40 positions for judges in the High Court of Kerala, not a single judge is from a Scheduled Caste or other similarly deprived communities such as Latin Catholics, it was contended. The petitioner argued that this lack of representation negates the equality of opportunity guaranteed by the Constitution.

The petitioner argued that this was fundamentally opposed to the principle of social justice.

“The mandate of Articles 38, 46 and 335 of the Constitution of India are required to be observed and mandated in appointment of Judges to the High Court of Kerala,” the plea stated.

The petitioner added that a representation on this issue was submitted earlier by an organization of backward classes but there was no response.

Therefore, the petitioner sought the High Court’s interference by issuing appropriate directions to the Union of India and relevant authorities to ensure compliance with the principles of social justice in making appointments to Kerala High Court from marginalised communities.

In his plea, the petitioner asserted that the concept of social justice is inherently embedded in the Constitution of India and should not be ignored in appointments to the judiciary, administrative bodies, or public sector undertakings.

The petitioner noted that at a time when the high office of President of India is entrusted to a woman from a scheduled tribe, there continues to be a lack of recognition for the rightful claims of members of scheduled castes and other deprived classes in the High Court and judicial institutions of Kerala.

The petitioner acknowledged that the principles of reservation may not directly apply to high courts and constitutional positions but he noted that even the Chief Justice of India had commented on the need for diverse representation in Supreme Court appointments. The petitioner further argued that the representation of underprivileged classes in high courts does not equate to asking for reservation.

The petitioner also referred to recent statements by the Prime Minister of India who emphasized on the importance of social justice in the country. Social justice should be implemented it in all spheres, including the judiciary, the petitioner added.

The petitioner was represented by advocates JS Ajith Kumar and Shamem MS.

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