The latest notification released by the Bar Council of India (BCI) on 2nd January 2021, has successfully snatched the attention of the Judicial Service Exam aspirants. BCI has filed an application in the Honorable Supreme Court of India for updating the eligibility criteria for the Judicial Service Exam. It has proposed a minimum of three years of experience in advocacy after graduating as an essential to sit for the Judicial Service Exam. The State Bar Councils have also supported this decision in the majority. Currently, fresh Graduates are eligible to sit for the exam and BCI is questioning this standard.
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The Bar came up with this recommendation for a variety of reasons. It has observed that the Judicial Officers who have freshly graduated are incapable of doing their job correctly. There are two phases to the prevalent problems:
- The judicial officers often act clueless about the crucial mannerisms and responsibilities of the court. This happens as they did not gain experience as advocates or litigants. BCI regarded them as “Incapable and inept” along with being “Impolite and impractical”.
- This inexperience in regards to court authority and management is affecting the system in an obstructive manner. It is being a barrier to smooth, fast, and proper administration of judicial functions.
It is important to note that this proposition is not a new one. In fact, until 2002, the essential criterion of a minimum of three years‘ experience in advocacy was in effect. But this was altered in the case of All India Judges Association and Others vs Union of India. Herein, it was concluded that the young lawyers were not opting for Judicial Examinations after advocating for three years. The position of Judicial Officer was no more “attractive enough” to them. But this has generated the present-day problems of inefficiency, indecency, and tardiness.
The Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission has taken action in favour of BCI’s standpoint. On 3rd December 2020, it released a notification about the updated eligibility criteria for the AP State Judicial Service examination, incorporating the standard of advocacy experience. The details are similar to BCI’s recommendation, i.e., a minimum of three years of experience in the field of advocacy. This is for the appointment of civil judges in the Junior Division.
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This decision of the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission was challenged by petitioner Mr Regalagadda Venkatesh. He filed a petition against the state of Andhra Pradesh calling this criterion of three years of experience in the issued notification “illegal and unwarranted”.
At this stage, BCI will be pleading before the Supreme Court of India to consider the recommendation of a minimum of three years of Bar experience as an eligibility criterion to sit for the Judicial Service Exam. It wants to re-establish the previous eligibility criteria before the 2002 modification in the case of All India Judges Association Vs UOI.
Even though this BCI notification has received responses, the majority of the folks from the legal field agree with this suggestion. Most individuals shared the sentiments of the BCI relating to the aforementioned difficulties arising due to inexperienced Judicial Officers.
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But when it came to the aspirants of the Judicial Service Exam, they were not necessarily satisfied with these turns of events. They expressed distress over the fact that the full integrated course of law itself takes 5 years to complete. At that point, if they opt for Judicial Services, it will take them another 3 years before being eligible to sit for the exam. This will elongate the whole process to 8 years, which is a huge amount of time to devote to. Not a lot of people can afford to sit and study for that long before properly establishing their career.
Time To Ponder
At this point, what, according to you, should be the correct step by the SC about the proposed suggestions? Whose concerns should be given the highest priority? Below is the link to the official website of the Bar Council of India, check it out for more information on Judicial Service Examinations.
About the Author: Madhuja Chatterjee is a 1st year Student from the School of Law, CHRIST University, Bangalore. She has always been young at heart, curious and eager to explore the fascinating subject of Content Writing.