Editorial Notes

[Editorial Notes] Validating the need of All India Judicial Service (AIJS)

In the recent years there have been a great uproar over creation of a unified pan-India judicial service as a judicial reform and for appointment of Judges. The article looks into the real need of creating an All India Judicial Service (AIJS) and if it will serve its purpose.
By IASToppers
January 11, 2020

Contents

  • Status quo
  • What is AIJS?
  • Justifying its need
  • Negating its creation
  • Problems posed by AIJS
  • Conclusion

Validating the need of All India Judicial Service (AIJS)

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Status quo

  • Presently, the appointments of District Judges and Subordinate Judiciary are done by the respective State governments.

All India Judicial Service no panacea, says study 2 Validating the need of All India Judicial Service (AIJS)

What is AIJS?

  • The idea for AIJS was first proposed by the 14th Report of the Law Commission of India in 1958, aimed at creating a centralized cadre of District Judges that would draw better talent.
  • All India Judicial Services inserted into Article 312 by the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976. The purpose was to ensure uniformity in the standard of selection, ensure fair trial and speedy justice to every citizen throughout the country and attracting the young talent in judiciary.

All India Judicial Service no panacea, says study 1

  • The UPA government in 2012 drafted a bill for the purpose but the bill was done away after opposition from High Court Chief Justices who labelled this an infringement of their rights and powers to appoint and administer subordinate judges.
  • The current government is moving towards the creation of AIJS to recruit district judges centrally through an all-India examination.

Justifying its need

  • The Union Law minister stated the extreme need to have an All India Judicial Service on the patterns of central civil services such as IAS and IPS to rope in talent in the judiciary and AIJS exams be conducted at the national level.

All-India-Judicial-Service-no-panacea,-says-study-5

  • Besides all-India postings, the jobs can have the provision of reservation for those from the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, and other marginalized communities for their talent acquisition in the judiciary.
  • AIJS has been pitched as a solution to longstanding judicial vacancies, lack of representation for the marginalized and the failure of the current machinery to attract the best talent.
  • The recent justifications for creation of AIJS has been that a centralized service would help fill the approximately 5,000 vacancies across the District and Subordinate Judiciary in India.

Negating its creation

  • AIJS is facing hurdles from the administrative block and also from High Courts, even though Supreme Court has asked for AIJS twice.
  • The move is being opposed on the basis that the reasons mooted earlier for creation of AIJS for appointing lower court judges no longer exist or have been resolved through changes in rules, regulations and practices.
  • The move has been opposed by the Chief justices of High court who consider it as diluting their power and hamper the progression of state judicial service officers.
  • Another agreement in opposition is that in place of filling the vacancies by centralized examination, the respective states should investigate the reasons and causes for the large number of vacancies in any poorly performing State.

Problems posed by AIJS

1. Exclusion from reservation:

  • The report highlighted that many of the communities who currently benefit from the State quotas, may oppose the creation of AIJS.
  • This is because the communities recognized as Other Backward Classes (OBC) by State governments may or may not be classified as OBCs by the Central government.

2. Local language:

  • The judges recruited through this process will not know the local languages of the States in which they are posted. This becomes important considering that the proceedings of civil and criminal courts are to be conducted in a language prescribed by the respective State governments.
  • The issues of local language and customs are issues that deserve serious consideration before moving ahead with the creation of the AIJS.

Conclusion

  • The needs for restructuring the judicial system can’t be negated and postponed further.
  • The AIJS seems as a valid option for talent acquisition and fulfilling the need for qualified judiciary in the country.
  • AIJS should be designed in a manner to remove its shortcomings and address the questions raised by high court judges and other concerns.
  • All the stakeholders involved be it State governments, Chief justices of Supreme Court and High court, Attorney general etc. should be consulted and then take forward the initiative after meeting genuine concerns.
  • Effective Judiciary with no mediocrity is required to speed up the justice delivery mechanism and restore Public faith in the judiciary.
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