Computer knowledge must for judges: Supreme Court

Last Updated: Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 19:41

New Delhi: Judges should have basic computer
knowledge at the time of appointment and a candidate who fails
to fulfil the requirement can be denied employment, the
Supreme Court has ruled.

A bench of Justices Mukundakam Sharma and A R Dave passed
the ruling while dismissing a Civil Judge aspirant Vijendra
Kumar Verma`s plea challenging the decision of Uttarkhand
Government to reject his candidature after he failed to
display basic computer knowledge.
"It is also to be considered that the Indian judiciary is
taking steps to apply e-governance for efficient management of
courts. In the near future, all the courts in the country will
be computerised. In that respect, new judges who are being
appointed are expected to have basic knowledge of the computer
operation.

"It will be unfair to overlook basic knowledge of computer
operation to be an essential condition for being a judge....
Therefore, we are of the considered opinion that requirement
of having basic knowledge of computer operation should not be
diluted," the Bench said in a judgement.

Verma had challenged the eligibility criteria adopted for
direct recruitment of Civil Judges under Rule 8 of Uttarakhand
Judicial Service that a candidate apart from a Law degree must
possess a thorough knowledge of Hindi in Devanagari script as
well as basic knowledge of computer operation.
The aspirant who appeared in the preliminary examination
on September 16, 2006 was declared successful. Thereafter, he
did reasonably well in the Viva Voce and secured 576 marks in
all, well over the 568 marks obtained by other selected
candidates.

However, he was not selected as he lacked basic knowledge
of computers.

Verma challenged his rejection before the state High Court
which dismissed his plea, following which he appealed in the
apex court claiming it was unreasonable and no foolproof or
transparent method was adopted to test the computer knowledge
of the candidates.

Dismissing his appeal, the apex court observed, "We are of
the opinion that possessing of basic knowledge of computer
operation is one of the criteria for selection and in order to
judge such knowledge, an expert on the subject was available
at the time when the candidate was facing the Interview Board.

"In order to ascertain the candidate`s knowledge of
computer operation, he put questions and thereafter he gave
remarks that the candidate has sufficient knowledge or that he
does not have sufficient knowledge."

The apex court refused to comment over the standard
applied by the expert in judging his knowledge as it is "his
(expert`s) subjective satisfaction".

PTI



First Published: Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 19:41

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