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All India Judicial Service, History, Benefits, Provisions and Needs

All India Judicial Service

The All India Judicial Service is an initiative to centralise the appointment of district judges for all states and additional district judges at the level of the judiciary. Judges of the lower judiciary are planned to be recruited centrally and allocated to states, similar to how the Union Public Service Commission performs a national recruiting procedure and places successful individuals in cadres.

All India Judicial Service which is covered in this article is covered in the Indian Polity and Governance of UPSC Syllabus. Students can also go for UPSC Mock Test to get more accuracy in their preparations.

All India Judicial Service History

In its original version, the Indian Constitution did not contain any provisions about the AIJS, but the Drafting Committee eventually produced Article 235, which places the lower judiciary under the supervision of the High Court. In 1958, the Law Commission of India originally floated the concept of establishing AIJS.

The judicial services were added to Article 312 (which deals with the development of the All India Services (AIS)) after the Swaran Singh Committee’s recommendations in 1976, however anyone with a lower rank than district judge was still not included. The idea of an All India Judicial Service was supported at the Chief Justices Conferences in 1961, 1963, and 1965, but it had to be dropped when some States and High Courts objected since it would have taken away their authority to hire lower level judges. State governments are responsible for hiring for lesser judicial positions; in some states, this is done by state High Courts, while in others, it is done by state Public Service Commissions.

Also Read: National Legal Services Authority

All India Judicial Service Judiciary View

In the 1991 case of Union of India v. All India Judges’ Association (1), the Supreme Court ordered the Centre to establish an AIJS.  However, the court freed the Centre to take the lead on the matter in a 1993 review of the ruling.

In 2017, the Supreme Court proposed a “Central Selection Mechanism” to address the issue of district judge appointments. The court selected senior attorney Arvind Datar as an amicus curiae, and he sent a concept note to all the states recommending a common exam rather than separate state exams. High Courts would then conduct interviews and appoint judges based on the merit list.

All India Judicial Service Benefits

It will guarantee an effective subordinate judiciary, solve structural concerns including different salary and compensation between states, fill vacancies more quickly, and guarantee uniform training throughout states. Since effective dispute resolution is one of the primary factors used to determine the ranking in the Ease of Doing Business, the government has focused on reforming the lower judiciary.

According to a Law Commission report from 1987, India should have 50 judges per million people as opposed to 10.50 judges at the time. Even if the number of sanctioned judges has already surpassed 20, there are still only 107 and 51 judges per million inhabitants in the US and the UK, respectively. The Government views the AIJS as the best option for ensuring fair representation for the disadvantaged and marginalized groups in society.

The administration thinks that if such a service were to emerge, it would contribute to building a talent pool of individuals who might subsequently join the higher judiciary. Issues like corruption and nepotism in the lower judiciary will be addressed by the bottoms-up approach to hiring.

Also Read: Lok Adalat

All India Judicial Service Need

There are currently approximately 5400 open positions in the lower judiciary nationwide, and there are 2.78 million cases pending, largely as a result of the states’ excessive delays in performing regular exams. Justice delivery will be delayed, cases will take longer to resolve, judgements will be of worse quality, and this will ultimately impact the higher judiciary’s competency.

Due to the poor pay, benefits, and compensation provided by state governments, state judicial services are not attractive to the “best talents.” Adjudication is a speciality that demands cutting-edge training facilities and teachers, but public institutions do not provide interns with this experience.

Choosing a decent judge is a challenging task that shouldn’t be left up to a limited group of people (collegium), no matter how wise they may be. There is a need to reflect the socioeconomic reality and variety of the nation by establishing a neutral and impartial method of recruitment because current judicial selections at the lower level and upper level suffer from subjectivity, corruption, and nepotism on the side of Collegium.

All India Judicial Service and Objections Implemented

The independence of the judiciary would be compromised if the Union government gained control of the state courts through AIJS by abolishing the High Court, as now allowed by Article 235. With the exception of a few National Law Universities, law school curricula lack effective standards, which lead to poor-quality legal research and academics. This issue is not addressed by AIJS.

Concerning the level to which postings should be included in the Indian Judicial Service, there is a lack of agreement and uncertainty. AIJS officers would find it difficult to become accustomed to the local language, which would impede the administration of justice in courts where business is conducted in the state language up to the District and Sessions Judge Level. If officers at senior levels are taken through AIJS, avenues for promotion for those who had already entered through the state services would be limited, which will have an impact on the staffing of the State Judicial Service.

A “national exam” could prevent people from less affluent backgrounds from joining the legal profession. The issue of disproportionately low compensation, the absence of proper judicial infrastructure (including courts or training for officers) in the states, or the lack of career advancement is not addressed by AIJS.

Less than one-third of seats in the High Courts are held by judges from the district cadre, despite the fact that the first two are the responsibility of State governments and the latter is the responsibility of the judiciary. Despite this, no adjustments have been made to ensure better district judge representation in the High Courts. The issue of local laws, practices, and customs that differ greatly between States is ignored by AIJS, which raises the price of training judges chosen by the method.

All India Judicial Service Current Appointment Method

The appointment of district judges is governed by Articles 233 and 234 of the Indian Constitution, which gives this authority to the states. Given that High Courts have jurisdiction over the state’s subordinate judiciary; the State Public Service Commissions and the relevant High Court undertake the selection procedure.

Candidates are chosen for appointments through interviews conducted by panels of High Court justices following the exam. The Provincial Civil Services (Judicial) exam is used to choose all judges in the lower courts, up to and including district judges. Commonly known as the judicial services exam, PCS(J).

According to Articles 124, 217, and 222 of the Indian Constitution, judges had to be appointed to the Supreme Court and the High Court as well as transferred from one High Court to another. In accordance with the Collegium System, the President appoints judges after consulting with the Chief Justice and other judges.

All India Judicial Service Constitutional Provision

Article 312 (1), which gave Parliament the authority to enact laws establishing one or more All-India Services, including an AIJS, common to the Union and the States, was modified by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment in 1976.

According to Article 312, the Rajya Sabha must approve a resolution with the backing of at least two-thirds of the members who are present and voting. The AIJS must then be established by a statute passed by Parliament. This indicates that the formation of AIJS will not require a constitutional amendment.

All India Judicial Service Criticism

A centralised hiring procedure is viewed as a violation of federalism and an encroachment on the constitutionally granted powers of the states.  This is the main argument made by a number of states, who have also claimed that central recruitment cannot address the particular issues that various states may have. For instance, language and representation are important issues that governments have raised. Regional languages are used for judicial transactions, therefore central recruiting may have an impact.

Additionally, a central test could diminish caste-based preferences, especially for candidates from rural areas or from the state’s linguistic minorities. The separation of powers principle found in the constitution also forms the basis of the opposition. A centralized test could reduce the influence that the High Courts have in the selection of district judges and allow the executive a foot in the door.

The structural problems that plague the lower judiciary will not be resolved by the establishment of AIJS. In the 1993 All India Judges Association case, the SC addressed the issue of disparate pay and payment scales by establishing uniformity across states. Increasing remuneration for everyone and making sure that certain High Court justices are chosen from the lower judiciary, according to experts, may help attract qualified candidates better than a centralized exam.

All India Judicial Service UPSC

The construction of a recruitment mechanism that attracts effective judges in large numbers is required due to the overwhelming volume of cases that need to be resolved. Building consensus and taking meaningful action in the direction of the AIJS are necessary before the AIJS enters the legislative framework, nevertheless. Students can read all the details related to UPSC by visiting the official website of StudyIQ UPSC Online Coaching.

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All India Judicial Service FAQs

What is the age for All India Judicial Service?

The lower age limit is 22 years, and the upper age limit is 35 years.

What are the benefits of all India judicial service?

It will ensure an efficient subordinate judiciary, to address structural issues such as varying pay and remuneration across states, to fill vacancies faster, and to ensure standard training across states.

Which is better judiciary or IAS?

Judges have judicial powers and IAS have executive powers.

Who is the youngest person to clear judiciary exam?

Meet Mayank Pratap Singh, the youngest judge of India who has created history by cracking the Rajasthan Judiciary Services Examination at the age of 21.

What is the highest age of judge?

When the Constitution was adopted and enforced in 1950, the age of the retirement of the judges of the High Court’s was fixed at 60. However, it was raised to 62 in 1963 according to the 15th amendment of the Constitution.

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