Indian Judicial Services

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The Government’s plan to introduce “Indian Judicial Services” for the recruitment of judges at the session level was in news recently as the law minister commented that the government is trying its best to introduce this “Judicial Service” which would be at par with the other All India Services like IPS, IAS, and IFS. First of all, this idea of an All India Judicial Service is not a new innovation, its formation has been specifically mentioned under Article 312 of the Indian Constitution and various commissions and committees have recommended its institution, but for the past 20 years it has been lying in abeyance.

There are many practical difficulties associated with the implementation of the I.J.S scheme, first of all, in any of the All India Services, a fresh graduate can apply for it but the case with IJS is that it requires a minimum experience, near about seven years, for an applicant to be eligible for the examination. Secondly the government plans to fill up only 25% seats of the Higher Judiciary with examination, rest to be filled from the Bar, and even after joining in the IJS, an applicant has to work for nearly 10 to 15 years before he can be elevated to the higher judiciary, on the other hand under article 217(2) (b) of the Indian Constitution, a person becomes eligible for elevation if he has been practising for 10 years, thus we find again that person from the bench is at loss.

Secondly, there are many states which have reservations over the implementation of this scheme, they feel this step is an assault on the “Federal Structure” of the country, at present the judges of the lower judiciary are appointed by the Concerned High Court and the exam is taken up by the Public Service Commission of the concerned state, on the other hand, if the IJS scheme is brought into practice, the exam would be taken up by the Union Public Service commission which works under the Union Government. More importantly, at present every state has got two level examinations for entry into the lower judiciary, first is the PCS/Judiciary examination which is open to every fresh law graduate and other is the Higher Judicial Services Examination or Upper Judicial Services Examination which requires a minimum age of 35 years and 7 years of practice. Many states feel that these examinations would be abolished because of the IJS system and thus they have reservations over IJS examination.

With less chances of promotion and more work load bright students generally don’t opt for the lower judicial services, thus if the government wants to augment the Judiciary with fresh and unexplored talent, it needs to give a platform, where every Judicial officer has fair chances of promotion to the Higher judiciary, it will not only improve the working efficiency of the judiciary but the increase in manpower would also reduce the number of pending cases, lying in the dusts of Indian legal system.