The Supreme Court of India held that the bar under Article 233(2) of the Constitution of India is only regarding the appointment of the District Judge and not for the participation in the selection process by the candidates.
Article 233(2) of the Constitution declares that only a person not already in the service of either the Union or of the State shall be eligible to be appointed as District Judges.
“The text of Article 233(2) only prohibits the appointment of a person as a District Judge, if such person is already in the service of either the Union or the State. It does not prohibit the consideration of the candidature of a person who is in the service of the Union or the State. A person who is in the service of either of the Union or the State would still have the option, if selected to join the service as a District Judge or continue with his existing employment”, the Court reasoned.
The Court further said, “Compelling a person to resign his job even for the purpose of assessing his suitability for appointment as a District Judge, in our opinion, is not permitted either by the text of Art. 233(2) nor contemplated under the scheme of the constitution as it would not serve any constitutionally desirable purpose.”
Subordinate Judicial Services candidates (judges) were asked to first resign from their service if they want to be considered for the post of District Judge. However, if they are not selected, they were not permitted to withdraw their resignation later.