With an Aim to infuse young talents to higher judiciary, the government has prepared a Cabinet note to introduce the Indian Judicial Service (IJS) — an all-India service on the lines of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS). The proposal is likely to be brought before the Union Cabinet next week for its approval.
Sources said the Cabinet note has been prepared by the law ministry and it could be placed before the Cabinet in the next few days, which paves way for selection of candidates on the basis on an all-India exam akin to civil services. The new recruits will be posted as district judges and would have a well-defined career progression to higher courts.
The move will also ensure that High Courts and Supreme Court would have younger and bright judges who are promoted to higher judiciary at a much younger age compared to the existing system where recruits join as magistrates and take at least 10 years to become district judge.
Introduction of Indian Judicial Service has been in a limbo for close to four decades as many of the states had expressed their reservation citing several reasons. Language issues for judges coming from varied linguistic backgrounds have been cited as one of the reasons behind states’ reluctance. States also fear it will be an intrusion on their rights since at present most of them select members of the subordinate judiciary.
The Centre has consulted state governments and HCs on the matter for a wider consensus, but objections have been registered by a majority of them — 11 out of 17 HCs — and seven out of 20 states, who have sent their comments.
However, the proposal has been supported by the Law Commission, the first National Judicial Pay Commission and the Committee on Centre State Relations and from the Parliamentary Standing Committee. The UPA may not face problem in implementing its decision once approved by the Cabinet as the Constitutional amendment was made in 1977 to provide for an All India Judicial Service under Article 312 of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court, which had initiated the process of consultation with all HCs a few years ago, has been in favour of creating Indian Judicial Service due to large number of pending cases in different courts and also the prevailing trend where many bright law graduates prefer corporate law firms to judiciary. Conducive environment, good remunerative package and better career progression — like in the IAS and the IPS — may attract talented professionals to enter the judicial service.