Press "Enter" to skip to content

SC’s Big Move to Fill Vacancies in Lower Judiciary

New Delhi: A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday finally put the issue of All India Judicial Services on the anvil by taking suo motu cognizance of a letter written by the Secretary, Department of Justice, and has issued a notice in mooting a Central Selection Mechanism (CSM) to make selections in the subordinate judiciary across the country.

The bench comprising Chief Justice of India, JS Khehar, and Justices AM Khanwilkar, and AK Goel, after listening to the submissions made by Additional Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, issued notice to the states and directed them to file response by June 30.

The letter was written by Snehlata Srivastava, Secretary, Department of Justice, on April 28 to Ravindra Maithani, Secretary General of the Supreme Court.

While highlighting the issue of large number of vacancies in the lower judiciary, the idea of CSM was mooted. It was proposed that a Centralized Selection Committee under the chairmanship of the CJI and his nominee with the representation from the High Courts and other experts as necessary may be formed.

The letter had stated that such an examination could also be conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) as it was experienced in conducting such nationwide examinations.

The bench noted that the government had rightly pointed out huge vacancies in the subordinate judiciary. The next hearing in the case is on July 11.

Srivastava also stated that the “Government welcomes the idea and would support the initiative as required for its speedy investigation.”

This issue is important as it also brings the focus back on All India Judicial Services which has not seen much development since January this year after Union Minister of Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, held a meeting at the Department of Justice.

The chief justices’ conferences in 1961, 1963 and 1965 proposed the creation of an AIJS, but the proposal had to be shelved after some states and HCs opposed it. The idea was again proposed before Justice PN Bhagwati in 1984.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the golden jubilee celebrations of Delhi High Court mooted and revived discussion and now the CJI plans to convince the high court chief justices to allow the exam to see the light of the day.

First Published: May 9, 2017, 7:07 PM IST