New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that
a judge can be compulsorily retired even for a single adverse
entry as a judicial officer is expected to maintain high
standards of integrity.
"The law requires the authority to consider the entire
service record of the employee while assessing whether he can
be given compulsory retirement irrespective of the fact that
the adverse entries had not been communicated to him and the
officer had been promoted earlier in spite of those adverse
"More so, a single adverse entry regarding the integrity
of an officer even in remote past is sufficient to award
compulsory retirement," a three-judge Bench of Justices J M
Panchal, Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan said in a judgement.
The apex court passed the judgement while dismissing the
appeal of Pyare Mohan Lal, Additional District and Sessions
Judge (Fast Track), Ranchi, who was compulsorily retired by
the Jharkhand High Court for his adverse service record along
with five other judicial officers.
The High Court had passed the order for compulsory
retirement on May 12, 2003, in "public interest."
Aggrieved by the order, Lal appealed in the apex court.
Upholding the dismissal, Justice Chauhan, writing the
judgement, said it was evident from the judicial officer`s
record that he remained an average officer throughout his
service career and could never improve.
"The case of a Judicial Officer is required to be
examined, treating him to be differently from other wings of
the society, as he is serving the State in a different
"The case of a Judicial Officer is considered by a
Committee of Judges of the High Court duly constituted by
Hon`ble the Chief Justice and then the report of the Committee
is placed before the Full Court. A decision is taken by the
Full Court after due deliberation on the matter. Therefore,
there is hardly any chance to make the allegations of non-
application of mind or mala fide," the Bench said.
The apex court said the judge had a poor track record as
he had been given adverse entries regarding his
integrity/reputation as not being good in the years 1999-2000
as per the remarks made by the Inspecting Judges in 1997 and
"The petitioner had made a bald assertion that the
adverse entries have not yet been communicated to him. It has
been repeatedly submitted by him that representations made by
him against the said adverse entries had not been disposed
"Indisputably, uncommunicated adverse entries could be
taken into account for the purpose of assessing an officer for
compulsory retirement. The petitioner has not disclosed on
what dates the representations against the adverse entries had
been made. The petitioner had not challenged the said adverse
entries, rather he considered it appropriate to challenge only
the order of compulsory retirement which has been a
consequential effect of such adverse entries," the Bench said
while dismissing the appeal.