Only 2 states, two HCs are for all-India judicial service: Union Law Ministry

What is the News?

The Union Minister for Law and Justice has informed Parliament about the proposal on setting up of All India Judicial Services. 

What is All India Judicial Services(AIJS)? 

AIJS is a national-level recruitment process for district judges on the lines of the Union Public Services Commission proposed by the Central government to strengthen the overall justice delivery system.

However, under the Constitution, the power to make appointments to the lower judiciary vests with the states. 

Currently, states conduct their own examinations in consultation with high courts, based on vacancies that arise. Hence, AIJS is being seen as a dilution of the state’s powers.

Which states and High Courts are in support of AIJS?

Only two state governments, Haryana and Mizoram and two High Courts, Tripura High Court and Sikkim High Court are in favour of creating AIJS.

Note: In 2017, the Supreme Court had also favoured a centralised recruitment process of district judges.

Read more: SC pushes for council on judicial infrastructure
Why are other states and High Courts opposing AIJS?

Arunachal Pradesh: Arunachal Pradesh is purely a tribal state with its own peculiar and distinct tribal customs and ethos, and the modes of rendering justice vary from tribe to tribe. Hence, the proposal of having a common judicial service would create chaos and instability in their administration of justice.

Chhattisgarh: It wants only 15% of vacancies at the level of Additional District Judge and above from the Bar to be filled up through AIJS.

Odisha: It is insisting on a minimum experience of ten years and an upper age limit of forty years for district judges.

Bombay High Court: It has cited a 2014 full court resolution that rejected the proposal of AIJS.

Punjab and Haryana High Court: They said that the formation of AIJS will seriously erode the federal structure contemplated by the Constitution.

Other Concerns: The AIJS proposal does not address structural issues plaguing the lower judiciary, including low pay and fewer chances of being promoted to the higher judiciary.

Source: This post is based on the article “Only 2 states, two HCs are for all-India judicial service: Union Law Ministry published in Indian Express on 10th Dec 2021.

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