Home Essay/Articles SHORT PARAGRAPH : Necessity of All India Judicial Service
SHORT PARAGRAPH : Necessity of All India Judicial Service
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 04:21

Necessity of All India Judicial Service

Rule of law is the essence of democratic governance. Delayed justice, poor appreciation of evidence, and incapacity to apply constitutional and legal principles to real life situations play havoc with people’s lives. Failure of justice extracts a heavy tool from the society and economy. If we examine the pendency of cases in courts, we come across two factors. First, certain judges handle a much larger case load and yet dispose of cases swiftly and fairly. Others take interminably long, and yet fail to render justice. The quality of justice administered depends on the quality of those who administer it. The judiciary is completely independent and invulnerable to the vagaries of politics and partisan pulls. The High Court has complete control over the conduct and functioning of subordinate courts. And there are established procedures for elevation to High Court and Supreme Court. Therefore, once recruitment practices and sound, there are incentives for better performance and effective monitoring at least until a judge is elevated to the High Court.

The current procedures to enforce accountability in higher judiciary are not so effective, but that problem needs to be death with separately. If judicial officers are accorded the prestige and respect that all India Services enjoy, then the best talent can be tapped for the judiciary. Then the control exercised by the High Court, and the prospects of elevation to High Court ensure high quality performance in district and other subordinate courts. At the very least, formation of an All India service for judiciary would ensure a high level of competence and skills in our justice administration.

Article 312 of the Indian Constitution provides for the creation of all-India Judicial Service common to the Union and the States. The first Law Commission headed by MC Setalwad, had made a strong recommendation for the Constitution of an All India Judicial Service (AIJS), like the IAS and IPS. Three Chief Justices’ conferences in 1961, 63 and 65 favoured this recommendation. In 1972, the Chief Justice of India suggested the creation of AIJS. Late, the 8th Law Commission, in its 77th Report, recommended creation of such a service. In 1986, Law Commission, again examined the issue in detail, and recommended formation of an All India Judicial Service. The Supreme Court considered this issue in the All India Judges case in 1992, and endorsed the creation of AIJS.

Undoubtedly our judge-population ratio is too low, and we need many more trial courts. But as many jurists have pointed out, mere increase in the number of judges, without improvement in their quality, is of no avail. The quality of justice administered critically depends on the quality of the judges recruited. Clearly, there is a compelling case to create a highly competent, meritocratic All India Judicial Service. Creation of AIJS is a low-cost, high-impact reform long overdue. There are many other steps required to make our justice system work for the people. But improving the quality of judges, enhancing the prestige and dignity of judicial service, and promoting competition for recruitment is a relatively simple measure around which there is impressive consensus. The creation of AIJS will surely benefit the judiciary system and it is the need of hour.