NEW DELHI: To make judicial appointments smoother, Chief Justice of India T S Thakur is all set to meet Chief Justices of High Courts to convince them for adopting the All India Judicial Services Examination as many states are opposing it.
In November 2012, a Committee of Secretaries chaired by the Cabinet Secretary had approved a comprehensive proposal for creation of the service. So far, 15 states and 18 high courts (of 24) have responded to the proposal. One of the problems cited is the power of several states to use local languages in lower courts, even for writing orders.
Chief Justice of India T S Thakur will meet Chief Justices of High Courts to convince them for adopting the All India Judicial Services Examination as many states are opposing it. One of the problems cited is that several states have used powers under CrPC and CPC to declare that the local language will be used in lower courts even for writing orders. A person selected from Tamil Nadu may find it difficult to hold proceedings in states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
The CJI’s move comes days after a group of lawyers was stated that three High Courts have fixed the same date for final examinations for the post of judges, leaving many eligible candidates in limbo.
High Courts of Delhi, Allahabad and Karnataka have fixed their examination dates from November 11 to 13. Nearly 50-60 candidates are common for all these states. The worst-affected candidates will be from Delhi and its neighbouring state Uttar Pradesh as the distance between the two is the shortest, while for Karnataka, distance matters.
To appear for higher judicial services, a candidate should have a valid degree of law and minimum seven years of practicing experience in courts. Delhi High Court has scheduled its examination on November 12 and 13, Karnataka has slotted it on November 12 and UP from November 11 to 13.
Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 50th year celebration of Delhi High Court mooted for having All India Judicial Service in place. With the CJI’s move, the Ministry of Law and Justice has started discussing its modalities so that a competitive exam is put in place, as is done for Civil Services.
As per the ministry’s internal note, “The matter has been discussed at the highest level in the government and the judiciary. It has been decided that the Honourable Chief Justice of India would convene a meeting of the Chief Justices of the HCs to arrive at a consensus on formation of All India Judicial Services Examination.” As of June 30, there was a shortage of 5,111 judicial officers in the country’s district courts, which have only 16,192 judges against the sanctioned strength of 21,303. Nearly three crore cases are pending in district courts across India. At present, judges for lower courts are mostly selected by HCs or the State Public Service Commission of respective states.