Seven states, including BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh, have opposed the formation of an all-India judicial service, a 60-year-old proposal which has received a fresh push from the Modi government.
Another BJP-ruled state, Maharashtra, wants recruitment for the all-India judicial service (AIJS) to be done in a particular manner which the Law Ministry feels is “not in consonance” with the provisions of the service included in the Constitution.
According to a Law Ministry note on AIJS circulated to members of a parliamentary consultative committee attached with the ministry, the governments of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Manipur, Odisha and Uttarakhand want major changes in the proposal formulated by the Centre.
“State governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Punjab do not favour formation of AIJS. The Maharashtra government wants recruitment to be done at judicial magistrate (first class) level which is not in consonance with the provisions of AIJS included in the Constitution,” it said.
Besides these 13 states, “no response” has been received from the rest, the note states.
Also, the high courts of Andhra Pradesh, Bombay, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, Patna and Punjab and Haryana have not favoured the idea.
The Narendra Modi government has given a fresh push to the long-pending proposal to set up the new service to have a separate cadre for lower judiciary in the country.
There is also a divergence of opinion among state governments and respective high courts on the constitution of the AIJS.
One of the problems cited is that since several states, using their powers under Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), have declared that the local language would be used in lower courts even for writing orders, a person, say selected from Tamil Nadu, may find it difficult to hold proceedings in states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
The Centre’s plan to create a national-level judicial service, on the pattern of the All-India Civil Services, has been supported by the Law Commission and a department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice has also supported the idea.
The issue was first discussed in 1960 but the plan has not taken off due to continued difference.
Article 312 of the Constitution states that if the Rajya Sabha passes a resolution–supported by not less than two- thirds of the members present and voting–“that it is necessary or expedient in the national interest so to do, Parliament may by law provide for the creation of one or more all India services (including an all India judicial service) common to the Union and the states”.
( Source – PTI )