It’s not often that judges themselves file writ petitions in court. But that is what happened recently when facing an early retirement due to an incorrect entry of his birth date in official records, a Telangana High Court judge filed a plea with the Supreme Court.
Telangana High Court judge B Siva Sankara Rao sought the top court's intervention to 'correct' his date of birth which would ensure that he would get an extension of another two years of tenure.
According to the judge, his original date of birth is March 29, 1959. However, in the records, it is mentioned as April 10, 1957. The Telangana High Court website, too, notes this. Seeking a correction of the same, Justice Rao had written to the President's Secretariat but to no avail, following which he approached the Supreme Court in February.
In his petition, Rao said that Article 217(3) of the Constitution gives the President the power to determine the age of judges of high courts if any question arises on this aspect.
Representing Siva Sankara Rao was senior lawyer P S Narasimha. He told the Court that Rao wrote to both the President and the Law Ministry. However, as he did not get any response, he was compelled to approach courts for directions to correct his date before March 31, 2019.
The case was heard by Justice SA Bobde and Justice S Abdul Nazeer while Attorney General KK Venugopal was the respondent in the case.
According to News 18, Venugopal was called upon in the court to respond whether such a plea should be entertained at the fag end of the career of a judge of a constitutional court.
However, the AG had submitted that he had considered the request of Justice Rao in the past and dismissed at the time of his entry into judiciary 23 years ago.
The AG reportedly said that such a plea cannot be allowed to 'reagitated' and 'reargued'.
After hearing the case, the judges pronounced on Friday, "We see no reason to entertain this petition. Accordingly, the writ petition is, accordingly, dismissed."
Rao will now have to remit the office on the pre-determined date of April 10.