“We direct no impediment shall be caused in the conduct of exams and no order of stay shall be ordered by any other court in the variance of this order”, the Court directed.
Two special leave petitions filed by the Delhi High Court on its administrative side challenging the orders passed by a division bench on its judicial side postponing the Delhi Judicial Service Examination (DJSE) 2022 and Delhi Higher Judicial Services Exam (DHJSE) 2022 were heard by a bench consisting of Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice AS Bopanna, and Justice Hima Kohli.
In the wake of the proceedings, The Supreme Court has postponed the DHJSE and DJS exams due to the reduction of the upper-age restriction. The deadline for applications has been extended to April 3 for DJS, and the tests have been rescheduled for April 24. The application deadline for DHJSE has been extended to March 26 and the exam date has been pushed back to April 3. The High Court agreed to extend the application deadline and reschedule the exams as a result. A notification will be issued in this regard in no time.
For those candidates who were eligible in 2020 and 2021 but have become age-barred this year, the Supreme Court has relaxed the upper age limit of 32 years for the Delhi Judicial Service Examinations (DJSE) and 45 years for the Delhi Higher Judicial Service Examinations (DHJSE) of 2022. The Court allowed the waiver for the 2022 recruitments, citing the fact that exams were not given in 2020 and 2021, respectively, due to institutional concerns and the COVID-19 epidemic. The most recent tests took place in 2019. In addition, the Delhi High Court decided to give this exemption in terms of the upper age restriction for such candidates. Despite the fact that the Court was only considering the question of the upper age limit for DJS, it used its authority under Article 142 of the Constitution to extend comparable upper-age limit relaxation to DHJSE as well, stating that the same concept must apply to both tests. Issued the unusual circumstances, the Court indicated that the age relaxation is given as a “one-time remedy” for 2022. At the same time, the Court affirmed the 35-year-old minimum age requirement for applying for DHJSE, stating that it was a policy decision.
DJSE AGE LIMIT:
The Delhi High Court agreed to waive the upper-age requirement for the Delhi Judicial Service Examinations, allowing candidates who were eligible in 2020 and 2021 (when tests were not held) to sit for the current exam despite exceeding the upper-age restriction.
DHJSE AGE LIMIT:
The Court cited a 2018 decision in the matter of Hirandra Kumar versus the High Court of Judicature of Allahabad, which affirmed the 35-year-old minimum age limit and 45-year-old upper age limit set by the Allahabad High Court Rules for participating in Uttar Pradesh’s Higher Judicial Service selection process. After transferring the petitions to itself, the Supreme Court dismissed the High Court petitions challenging the DHJSE minimum age criterion.
A Division Bench led by Justice Manmohan observed in the order passed on March 4 as follows:
However, this Court is of the view that since the minimum age limit has been re-introduced after a hiatus of two years, the matters require consideration. Let the counter-affidavits be filed by the respondents within two weeks. Rejoinder affidavits, if any, be filed before the next date of hearing. List on 07th April 2022. The respondents are directed to extend the date for filling up the online application form beyond the next date of hearing.”
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