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About The All India Judicial Service

Context:

Recently, the President of India advocated for All India Judicial Service (AIJS) to enhance diversity in the judiciary by increasing representation from marginalized social groups.

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. All India Judicial Service (AIJS)
  2. Necessity for AIJS
  3. Current Recruitment Process for District Judges
  4. Concerns Raised Against AIJS

All India Judicial Service (AIJS)

Centralized System for Judicial Appointments
  • AIJS Concept: Suggested uniform system for appointing additional district and district judges across India.
  • Recruitment Model: Emulates the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) method for allocating judges to various states.
Historical and Constitutional Foundation
  • Law Commission Recommendations: Reports from 1958 and 1978 highlighted the need for AIJS to resolve disparities in pay and speed up recruitment.
  • Parliamentary Support: The concept was endorsed again in 2006 by a Parliamentary Committee.
  • Constitutional Provision: Article 312 advocates for AIJS creation, subject to Rajya Sabha’s two-thirds majority approval.
  • Roles Covered: Under Article 312 (2), AIJS positions are at or above the district judge level as outlined in Article 236.
Necessity for AIJS
  • Enhancing Judicial Standards
    • Uniformity in Selection: AIJS promises consistent selection criteria and training, boosting judicial performance.
  • Addressing Vacancies and Case Backlogs
    • Closing Judicial Gaps: Intends to fill over 5,400 lower court vacancies and manage the case backlog effectively.
  • Promoting Diverse Representation
    • Reflecting Societal Diversity: Aims to diversify the judiciary in line with India’s multifaceted social makeup.
  • Upholding Judicial Independence
    • Minimizing External Influence: Seeks to limit non-judicial interference, reinforcing judicial autonomy and responsibility.
  • Career Advancement Opportunities
    • Developing a Talent Pool: Envisions a system that enhances the mobility and career pathways for judges.

Current Recruitment Process for District Judges

Constitutional Provisions for Appointments
  • Articles 233 & 234: States are empowered to appoint district judges via these articles.
  • State Authority: State Public Service Commissions and High Courts manage the process.
  • High Court’s Role: HC panels interview and appoint candidates post-examination.
Article-Specific Details
  • Article 233: Focuses on appointing, posting, and promoting district judges through the State Governor and High Court.
  • Article 234: Concerns the recruitment of judicial officers below the rank of district judge.
  • PCS (J) Examinations: Lower judiciary judges up to district level are selected through the Provincial Civil Services (Judicial) exams.

Concerns Raised Against AIJS

  • Federal Structure and Autonomy
    • State Rights: AIJS is seen as potentially undermining state and High Court autonomy in judiciary administration.
  • Governance and Accountability
    • Dual Responsibility: Judges could face conflicting accountability to both state and central governments.
  • Local Considerations
    • Cultural Disregard: There’s a fear AIJS could ignore state-specific laws, languages, and customs crucial for judicial effectiveness.
  • Impact on Judicial Officers
    • Career Progression: Current judicial officers might lose motivation and opportunities for advancement under AIJS.

-Source: The Hindu


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