An Alive Article 224A / The Revival of Ray LXV

In the present case, we are concerned with Article 224A. Krishan Gopal v. Shri Prakash Chandra, (1974) 1 SCC 128 observed, if a person appointed under Article 224A was not considered to be a Judge of the High Court for the purpose of jurisdiction, powers and privileges, the question of appointing such a person would never arise. The provision could not thus be rendered a dead letter. It was clarified, the effect of the provision would create a deeming fiction and the Court observed, “The dictionary meaning of the word ‘otherwise’ is ‘in other ways’, ‘in other circumstances’, ‘in other respects’. The word ‘otherwise’ would, therefore, point to the conclusion that for the purpose of jurisdiction, powers and privileges the person requested shall be a Judge of the concerned High Court and for purposes other than those of jurisdiction, powers and privileges, the person requested shall not be deemed to be a Judge of that Court. It would, for example, be not permissible to transfer him under Article 222.” We see no reason why there should be an unending debate of taking recourse to Article 224A when such a provision exists. It should not be made a dead letter, more so when the need is so pressing. A common theme of the various suggestions placed before us is, there is a definitive need for activating the provision. It would be in the fitness of things to lay down some guidelines and to make the provision a ‘live letter’. The guidelines cannot be exhaustive and that too at this stage. If problems arise, we will endeavor to iron them out. We must set aside apprehensions, if any, to chart this course and we are confident that there will be a way forward.

3-Judges, Lok Prahari v. Union of India, [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 1239 of 2019].