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NITI Aayog proposes all India Judicial Service Examination

NITI Aayog proposes all India Judicial Service Examination

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  • GS 2 || Polity || Judiciary || Judicial Reforms

Why in news?

  • In the document of ‘Strategy for New India@75’, the NITI Aayog solicited for setting up of an All India Judicial Service (AIJS) for appointing and recruiting judges in lower courts through an all India judicial services examination

Conduct of the exam

  • Exam could be conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in order to maintain “high standards” in the judiciary.

History of the Exam

  • It was first solicited by the Law Commission in the 1950s to have an All-India Judicial Services.
  • Constitution was amended in 1977 to facilitate an All-India Judicial Services under Article 312.
  • The Chief Justices conferences in 1961, 1963, and 1965 favored creation of All-India Judicial Services and even the Law Commissions (1st, 8th and 11th, 116th) had suggested the creation of the service. However, each time it was faced with opposition.
  • UPAgovernment in 2012 again solicited for it but the draft bill couldn’t be passed as several chief justices of India opposed it.

Constitutional Provisions about it

  • Article 233 and 234 gives the power of recruitment in judicial services to the state done by SPSCs (State Public Service Commission).
  • But, under the Article 312 of the Indian Constitution allows Rajya Sabha to pass a resolution by 2/3rd majority to create a new all-India service, which can be used.
  • And, parliament can amend the Articles 233 and 234 by simple majority to make appointments of the judges.
  • Constitutional amendment (Article 368) is not required in order to create the AIJS.

Judicial Vacancies

  • Timely Recruitment will clear the vacancies and will provide more judges to address the pending cases.
  • Representation from several marginalized societies will further bolster the judiciary.
  • Uniformity – the vacancies throughout India are not uniform in their judges’ appointment. E.g. in Maharashtra only 64 seats of the judges are vacant out of 2280 judges and West Bengal has only 80 vacant posts out of 1013 vacancies, while Uttar Pradesh has 42% vacancy in its courts.
  • Efficiency – the centralization process of the recruitment process will lead to more efficient recruitment process of judges.

Representation

  • NITI Aayog proposed reservations from the marginalized communities and to women in these recruitments.
  • 12 states in India, including Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, U.P., Rajasthan, Kerala etc. are already providing caste based reservations in district judges’ recruitments. States like U.P., Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh are also providing reservations to the women. Karnataka is also providing reservations to two other categories: Kannada based and rural people under the special category of reservations.

Implications

  • It is not even assured that by this centralized process appointment of judges will improve in the courts. E.g. civil services, IASs have vacancy rate of 22% which is done through the UPSC. Another example of Indian Army Officer Cadre could be taken that there are still vacant posts of 7298 officers while this recruitment is done through a centralized process.