This article on ‘All India Judicial Service: A Compelling Need for the Nation‘ was written by an intern at Legal Upanishad.
In this article, we will be discussing the topic which is one of the most controversial as well as the discussed topic of the current timing i.e., All India Judicial Service. After looking into the historical evolution of the issue we will look into the advantages and needs of the AIJS. Certainly, we also touch on the criticism of this idea.
The All India Judicial Service is an initiative for reform that seeks to centralise the hiring of judges at the level of extra district judges and district judges including all states.
It is suggested that judges of the lower judiciary be hired centrally and distributed to states, similar to how the Union Public Service Commission performs a national hiring procedure and allocates successful applicants to divisions.
To eliminate any possibility of judicial or governmental influence in the nomination of judges, the idea for the All India Judicial Service was initially put forth during the Conference of the Chief Justice in 1961. Several states and high courts resisted the idea, thus it was tabled until the Constitution was changed in 1976 to create an All India Judicial Service within Article 312.
The plan was once more put out by the ruling UPA administration in 2012, however, the Bill was once more shelved due to objections from the Chief Justice of the High Court, who said that this was an infringement of the rights of the public.
There has been a long and active history behind the creation of the All India Judicial Service (AIJS). The issue is becoming more pressing as a result of the central government’s decision to finalize a Bill to establish a judicial system in India at a certain time, a Bill that was embroiled in the judicial reform debate for 65 years.
The purpose of this bill Is to establish a centralised body of district judges as well as transfer the recruitment and appointment authority for such judges from superior courts and state governments to a centralised community, similar to the one in place for various degree tests across India. The bill is anticipated to help fill the current seats in the judicial system.
In 1958, the Law Commission’s 14th article made the initial recommendation for the All India Judicial Service. This study’s tiny structural component spurred the creation of AIJS. They hoped that the introduction of the All India Judicial Service would attract the excellent knowledge already in the nation. Subsequently, in 1976, the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution revised Article 312 to establish the AIJS for the recruitment of district judges, which is similar to the officer selection procedure for the I.A.S.
An AIJS was also suggested to be established by the Prison Commissions’ 77th and 116th assessments. This 116th Report also has given the AIJS the framework, the plan, the assessments of scholars, and jurists, as well as reasonable judgment. It referred to increasing the force by 40% by direct recruitment, 40% by upgrading inferior judges, and 20% through bar advancement. A hypothetical National Judicial Service Commission may oversee the regulations governing provider tests and promotions.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India further supported this in All India Judges Association v. Union of India (2001), stating that AIJS should be established and that the Union of India should take the appropriate action in this regard in light of the findings of the State Reorganization Commission that the establishment of this sort of service for the entirety of India is a “necessity essential and pressing.”
Recently, significant authorities responded by preparing a proposal to include the AIJS covering after others, including the Ministry for Trade Union Law, frequently stated their support for the introduction of the AIJS. The prison industry has, meanwhile, responded to the planned coverage collectively.
The AIJS Is used to select judges for district courts and other lower levels of the judiciary, such as the Munsif courts, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, First Class Magistrate, etc., in competition with national judicial exams. The selection process and the eligibility requirements of the selected candidates are included in the posted cover definition. To sit for the AIJS exam, you must be either an attorney or a graduate having 7 years of expertise who are committed to the coaching industry and who graduated from a recognized law university.
A candidate who is still in the process of choosing is also qualified to take the exam with the same work experience. The age range of 28 to 35 years of qualifying for applicants who pick the AIJS test is another crucial aspect of the program. Consequently, the policy cannot be put into effect without the prior approval of every superior court. Ironically, every time the idea of a National Judicial Screening Exam has been mooted, HCs in India have shown a clean face towards it.
Another major factor is the fact that administration interference with the decision is no longer necessary for the high courts to lose. The commission of secretaries supported the concept of a national single test for appointing judges in 2012–2013, which makes it a hard job for said Law Ministry now more than ever. The same was met with varying reactions from the states’ judicial systems, with 13 of the state’s high courts and 18 of them either rejecting the concept or calling for many modifications.
Necessity for AJIS
- A large number of vacant positions for judges and delays in hiring
- Absence of competent, outstanding judicial officials
- Prudence of a minor body
- Inadequacy of specialized institutions for national education
- Appropriate recruiting
- Increased effectiveness of the judiciary
- Encourage national integration Greater judicial administration efficiency
- Including the marginalised section
Advantages of AJIS
- Accountability and transparent
- It enhances hiring neutrality
- Promotes representative nature
- General effectiveness.
- Uniformity nationwide
- Obtaining the greatest talent
- Verify case management
- A centralized hiring process is viewed as a violation of federalism and an infringement on the constitutionally established powers of the states.
- The key argument made by various states is that centralized recruitment wouldn’t be able to deal with the particular issues that different states might have had.
- Linguistics and representation were important issues that governments have raised.
- Local languages are used for judicial transactions, which means that central hiring may have an impact.
- Inappropriate For Regional Reservation: Additionally, a central test may dilute caste-based preferences, especially for candidates from rural areas or members of the state’s lingual minorities.
- The issue against the constitutional principle of the separation of powers is also focused on this principle. A centralised test could reduce the influence that the High Courts possess in the selection of district judges and offer the government a foot with the door.
- Unable to resolve Systemic Difficulties: The establishment of AIJS won’t deal with the structural problems that the lower judiciary is now experiencing.
- During the centralized Judges Association judgment of 1993, the SC discussed the problem of disparate pay and payment scales by establishing uniformity amongst states.
- According to experts, rather than using a centralised exam to find qualified candidates, boosting salary throughout the board and making sure that certain High Court judges were also chosen from the subordinate courts may be more effective.
Even though the Apex Court has repeatedly sought AIJS, there are still obstacles in the way of AIJS from the executive branch and high courts. In order to overcome these drawbacks and become a potent tool for filling judicial vacancies, AIJS must be redesigned. Only if they are recruited in large numbers through AIJS, as we see with the IAS, IPS, IFS, as well as other civil posts, can competent judges be produced.
There should therefore be no more delay. A judicial provider administrator may also have sufficient education to perform their duties following selection. The need of the moment is a merit-based judiciary that is workable with a competitive hiring procedure.
- Udita Prakash, The need for All India Judicial Service (AIJS), Available at: https://blog-ipleaders-in.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/blog.ipleaders.in/need-india-judicial-service-ato FQArABIIACAw%3D%3D#Conclusion (Accessed: February 02, 2023).
- All India Judicial Service, Available at: https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-news-analysis/all-india-judicial-service-1 (Accessed: February 02, 2023).