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Bihar provides 50% reservation in lower judiciary

In a historic move, the Bihar government has assented to provide 50% reservation to socio-economic weaker sections of the society in lower judiciary in the state.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Bihar cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, on Tuesday and will come into immediate effect after a notification in this regard will be issued by the general administration department on Wednesday.

The reservation will apply to the recruitment of subordinate judicial services (munsifs and magistrates) and superior judicial services (additional district judges and district judges), general administration department principal secretary Dharmendra Singh Gangwar said.

At present, while there is no reservation in superior judicial services, there was 27% quota for SC/ST and EBC in subordinate judicial services.

Gangawar said the move was historic as the Bihar government was trying to reserve 50% seats in subordinate and superior judicial services for the socio-economically backward classes for the last 25 years, but, the move was rejected by the Patna high court at least eight times.

According to the statement, 21% seats will be reserved for EBC, 16% for SC, 12% OBC and 1% for ST. A horizontal reservation of 35% to women and 1% to physically challenged candidates, as per the provisions made in the seven resolves of Nitish, has also been provided for.

Sources said, most states at present do not have reservation in the judicial services.

The decision comes after the Supreme Court judgment in ‘Government of Bihar and others versus Dayanand Singh’ earlier this year, in which the court had permitted the state government to initiate the process of consultation with Patna high court and Bihar Public Service Commission despite upholding Patna high court’s decision quashing amendments relating to providing reservation in judiciary.

Gangwar said the Bihar government has accordingly consulted the Patna high court and BPSC and then decided to provide 50% reservation in the two types of judicial services.

According to the data available with the government, about 1,100 posts are vacant in lower judiciary.