25. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
25.1 Technological Developments in the field of information and introduction of computers have made a turning point in the history of human civilization. It has brought about a sea change in all fields of human activity. It has resulted in enhanced efficiency, productivity and quality of output in every walks of life.
25.2 The information technology has been advocated in the western countries for the last two or three decades, but hardly any worthwhile effort has been made till recently, particularly, in judicial administration of subordinate courts in our country.
25.3 The Commission considers that there is an immediate need for exposing our legal profession, judicial fraternity and court management to the update computerised technology so as to render speedy justice with better legal outputs.
25.4 The Commission formulated the following question in its questionnaire to elicit views and suggestions for application of Information Technology in Court System :
Q.No.56 : The introduction of Computers has brought about sea-change in the work and efficiency in various activities. Are the courts in your State/UT equipped with Computers for Court Management and Case Management ?
25.5 The High Courts of Andhra Pradesh,
25.6 The High Courts of Orissa, Rajasthan,
25.7 The Commission engaged the services of
Indian Institute of Management (IIM),
25.8 It may be stated that IIM,
25.9 The IIM, Bangalore, after studying the utility of computerisation of Courts in the countries abroad and also surveying the Court work and Court management in several centres in our country, has among others, recommended that for the purpose of improvements in operational efficiency, co-ordination, accessibility and speed in the judicial administration, the introduction of Information Technology (IT) is absolutely essential.
"1. Introduction :
Extensive use of Information Technology by diverse organizations the world over has resulted in enhanced efficiency, effectiveness and optimal use of resources. Computers as well as electronic communication devices such as facsimile machines, electronic mail, video conferencing, provide the ability to process large volumes of data with speed and accuracy, exchange of useful information between different locations and support higher quality of decision making. These capabilities have contributed to more efficient and responsive systems not only in business organizations, but also in legal, governmental and other public systems.
Information Revolution arrived in
2. Work Done So
The 121st Report of
the Law Commission of India (July 1987) has devoted a whole chapter to
"Technological Advances and its use in the context of Judicial
appointments". A beginning has been made by National Informatics Centre (NIC)
in computerisation of Court records. The administrative system in the Supreme
Court has been computerised. A query system allows litigants anywhere in the
country to enquire and obtain information on the status of a case filed in the
Supreme Court through NICNET. The Supreme Court is also introducing a
Classification System as well as a system to track progress of cases and a Case
Flow System. Gujarat High Court has also introduced a comprehensive case
management system. Such systems are also being initiated at other high courts.
Work has also commenced at some subordinate courts like the
3. Need for
Significant Thrust :
The problems faced by courts, judiciary and public seeking justice in terms of backlogs, delays and expense are well known. While there are many dimensions to these problems, improvements in operational efficiency, coordination, accessibility and speed which IT could bring about can contribute significantly towards improvement and alleviation of difficulties. However the present pace of development, particularly at the subordinate court level is too slow and is unlikely to have the desired impact in the near future. Massive problems need appropriately large commitments and major initiatives if a significant dent is to be made.
Recently, there has
been a tremendous interest in major initiatives in IT at the national level. A
task force set up by the Prime Minister has drawn up 108 recommendations with
the objective of developing
usage has made sufficient inroads into private as well as public organizations
4. Areas where IT
will be useful :
Most of the
bottlenecks identified by Judicial Commissions and Committees referring to
delays, arrears and backlog be partly overcome if a sound judicial management
information system is introduced in
a) Legal Information Data Bases
b) On line query system for precedents, citations, codes, statutes etc.
c) Generation of Cause List and on line statistical reports
d) On line Caveat matching
e) On line updation of data, monitoring and "flagging" of events
f) Pooling of orders and judgements
g) Daily List generation with historical data of each case
h) Word processing with standard templates including generation of notices/processes
i) Access to international data bases
j) Feed back reports for use of various levels.
The above are some of the areas where information technology can be introduced after due preparation. In particular, tracking of cases would result in better monitoring and control of cases by the Presiding Officers, rather than by the lawyers.
Computerisation should be supplemented by the use of Fax, E Mail, Video conferencing and other facilities for higher productivity and quicker decision making at all levels.
a) Creates initial court records for registering a case
b) Issues summons and monitors the service of the summons
c) Stores electronic copies of evidence
d) Generates Cause List
e) Updates records
f) Maintains Court Dairy
g) Automatically generates other relevant documents and records
The Lord Woolf Commission in U.K. has considered the case for use of Information Technology in the judiciary and has effectively articulated many aspects of IT usage in its report "Access to Justice" (July 1996).
The experience of IT
usage in these countries, particularly
The success of Computerisation of court work depends to a very large extent on the degree of preparations made. Therefore, any hasty, half-hearted step should be avoided as they will prove to be counter-productive.
Information Technology is also more than introducing computers. It should also reckon with improving communications. Facsimile machines, electronic mail and other means of swift and reliable communications should be introduced to synchronise with computerisation.
Before undertaking the major task of introducing widespread IT usage, following questions need to be considered :
a) What is the IT strategy for the judiciary ? How do you integrate technology with the objectives ?
b) What is a cost-effectuve Management Information System for the judiciary? What tools can be optimally used for the coordination of information ?
c) What should be learning process for the judiciary as well as the administrative staff ? How does one impart hands-on training to persons who may have hardened views on the subject ?
After a firm strategy is in place, the next step would be to prepare (a) the judicial organisation and (b) the human resources in the judiciary, to commit themselves to the concept. An extensive familiarisation programme should be launched, aimed at gaining the acceptability of all users. To begin with, all Presiding Officers should be contacted and the subject discussed with them in groups. A class room set up at this stage for Presiding Officers is not desirable. There should be no talk of hardware and software during this phase.
The judicial organisation should be prepared simultaneously for the introduction of computers. Source Documents should be obtained and gone through for source coding, data entry and connected technical operations. This should be done by a team of computer professionals. The period during which the manual work would run simultaneously with computerisation after introduction of computers should be determined and the phasing out should be free of all hassles.
There will be three stages of computerisation as follows :
a) Planning Stage
b) Development Stage
c) Operational Stage
Training will be an on-going activity during all the three stages. There will be a separate Training Plan. Training needs will be analysed soon after the IT strategy is finalised. The training plan will incorporate designing and delivering training programmes with a view to achieving the objectives of the learning process as a whole.
At the Planning
Stage all the applications of Information Technology in the judicial context
will be analysed. The existing data based run by private agencies would be
examined for their reliability and validity. International practices would also
be analysed. A detailed plan would be arrived at on the various applications of
IT in the Indian context and developing them for the Indian judiciary as an
extension of the work being done in the Supreme Court, High Courts and
At the Development Stage, selection of equipment (hardware) and developing suitable software which will supplement the existing systems would be decided. The expert team would coordinate their efforts closely with those who are preparing and coding the data. Staffing requirements would also be decided at the development stage. Training plans, skills acquisition and definition of roles would be documented and calibrated.
At the Operational Stage, the implementation process begins. The plans so far executed are tested and validated. Intensive coordination is required at this stage.
Care taken at the preceding stages and imaginative training to ensure that retentive learning takes place would underwrite the success of the project as a whole."
25.11 The aforesaid portion of the Report was
the subject matter of discussion in the National Consultative Activity convened
by the Commission on 12 and 13 December 1998 in co-ordination with IIM,
25.12 Almost all the High Courts represented by their nominee Judges, the Directors of the Judicial Training Institutes of the States concerned, Director of National Police Academy, Legal Luminaries, Professors of Law and Management and Representatives of the Judicial Officers' Associations participated in the said Consultative Activity. The brief proceedings of the National Consultative Activity is enclosed as Annexure-I.
25.13 Pursuant to the decision taken in the said discussion, the Chairman of the Commission wrote to the Prime Minister of India as well as to the Chief Justice of India for taking appropriate action for introduction of IT in the Judiciary.
25.14 The Commission has received reply from
Sri N. Seshagiri, Special Secretary & Director General, National Informatics
Centre, Govt. of India, Planning Commission,
"Subject: Inclusion of Subordinate Judiciary in the Information Technology Action Plan.
- - -
Under the District
Courts Computerisation and Networking Programme, the National Informatics Centre
(NIC) has already covered implementation of IT in all the 430 District Courts in
the country. NIC has received satisfactory support from the District Courts.
Under this project considering the availability of funds we could cover up to
judges only. Kindly find the enclosed brochure for further details.
The IT Task Force -
'Working Group on Citizen Interface' has already considered 'IT for Judiciary'
in its draft report. Further, the resolution passed by the 'First National
Judicial Pay Commission' has been forwarded to the Working Group for necessary
25.15 The reply received is enclosed as
25.16 We have also received from the
Government of India, 'The Computerisation and Networking Programme for District
Courts' as planned by the Planning Commission. This is also enclosed as
25.17 After taking into consideration of the
discussion and the views expressed in the National Consultative Activity, IIM,
A. Development of
Software Package for functional effectiveness
i. It is recommended
that a uniform software package with comprehensive functionality involving
complete aspects of information storage and processing at District Courts may be
developed. These should cover the following essential stages :
a) Filing of Cases
b) Daily List
c) Process Service
and monitoring of cases in each court
improvement and monitoring systems, and
e) Feedback and
available and being used in subordinate courts abroad may be studied for
guidance in this regard. The recommendations in Lord Woolf's Report deserve
close study. The Task Force should study International practices and their
applicability in the Indian context.
Informatics Centre (NIC) has been developing computer networks for the central
and state governments. A comprehensive plan for installation of hardware and
software after carefully evaluating the requirements should be drawn up. If NIC
is unable to devote resources to develop such a package in short time frame,
this could be offered to software firms in
B. Computer usage to
assist Judicial functioning
i. Apart from
supporting effective operation of primary activities, computers may assist
judges in the court room and for generation of orders through
a) Word processing
with provision of standard templates,
availability of case files including pleadings, affidavits, orders and documents
and full case histories,
c) Case Tracking and
d) Access to
databases of relevant law and relevant legal precedents, and
e) Vital feedback
information for corrective action at all levels of the judiciary.
Some of the above
applications do not need special software development. They may use standard
software packages available for these purposes. However proper evaluation,
effective installation and training would have to be undertaken.
ii. The "Check
Slip" should be the beginning point for simplification to help data
C. Legal Assistance
Kiosks may be installed at court premises to provide assistance to public. Such
Kiosks may provide guidance on basic procedures, information on availability of
ADR schemes and legal assistance. These should be networked with suitable
security provisions to the computers being used for operational systems so that
read - only facility of querying on the status of pending cases can be provided.
At later stages they may provide data entry facilities for computer based
submissions. Such services will greatly facilitate public interaction with legal
systems and also demonstrate the concern of the courts for the public at large.
Plan for Implementation
i. An extensive
program of computerization across the entire country should be undertaken by a
Task Force after development of a comprehensive plan for installation of
hardware and software and their effective usage. An Action Plan should be drawn
up. The Government of India's Action Plan for IT announced in 1998 and the Prime
Minister's Task Force set up for this purpose should include Judiciary as one of
the areas requiring the urgent attention of the government for introduction of
ii. Such a Plan must
not be limited to installation of hardware and software. An analysis of process
performance for possibilities of re-engineering must be undertaken as part of
iii. Changes in
organisational practises and regulations, reassignments of roles and
responsibilities, work methods and performance criteria will have to be
undertaken as part of the task.
iv. Changes in
organisational practises, training of Judicial and other personnel in the use of
computer-based systems and new work methods in dealing with new systems arising
from re-engineered work are urgent, essential reforms.
WORK DONE BY THE NIC :
25.18 From the Brochure received from the
Government of India, Planning Commission, National Informatics Centre,
25.19 It is said that NIC has received a report from 430 District Courts in the country that the implementation of IT is satisfactory in such Courts.
25.20 We have personally verified the steps taken regarding the implementation of IT in some of the District Courts in Karnataka Stage. We find that in almost all such Districts, what has been done is only the installation of hardware without any programme for training the concerned Judicial Officers or the Court Staff. In fact, in many District Courts, we find that the room in which the computers are located is locked. Perhaps, without knowing how to operate.
25.21 From the feedback information that we have received and also from the discussion in the National Consultative Activity, which we have referred to earlier, it is seen that there is hardly any progress in the implementation of IT in District Courts or in the Courts subordinate thereto, save in Gujarat and Maharashtra States.
25.22 In this context, reference may be made
to the experience gained by the
1. Internet and Online access to users and Lawyers.
2. Bulletin Board Service (BBS), File Transfer (FTP).
3. CD Servers for legal data-bases JUDIS, India Code, Gujarat Case Law, Gujarat Code, JURIX, Lexis, Nexis.
4. Application Servers.
5. Data Servers.
6. Internet Server (ISP).
7. HC Web site, Web page.
8. VSAT & District Court & other HC, SC connectivity, Online access.
9. Comprehensive Case Information System CCIS, Judgments, Orders, Notices, MIS & Statistical Reports.
10. About 50 Forms and merging of data from CCIS.
11. Admn.Departments A,B,C,D, B Spl. Depts.
12. Files-Classification, file names and files, directories.
13. File movements - Bar Code readers.
14. Agenda of
meetings of Committees, Standing Committee and
15. Minutes of Decisions of meetings.
16. Pay Roll, Pay slips.
17. Personal Information.
18. Judicial Officers-Personal Information.
19. Confidential reports and Adverse remarks.
20. Assessment of Disposals.
21. Complaints and Inquiries.
22. Lower Court Returns and Statistics, online reports and compilation.
23. Seniority Lists of Judicial Officers, Staff.
24. Transfers of Judicial Officers.
25. Accounts, Cheques.
27. Fixed Deposits.
28. Library - Catalogue, issue and movement of books.
29. Telephone and Address Directory.
30. Mailing Lists.
31. Legal Aid and Services.
33. Law Officer Branch.
34. Rules Recruitment Rules, HC Rules, Judicial Service Rules.
35. HC Judges Act-Rules.
36. Notifications, Circulars by HC.
37. Pension and Retirement Benefits and automatic calculations.
38. Leave Accounts - automatic calculations.
39. Personal files of Judges and individuals and security.
40. Linkage of judicial and non judicial files.
41. Organisation Charts.
42. Work flow charts.
43. Flow Charts of activities.
44. Flow Charts of case.
45. Flow Charts of Acts and Rules.
46. Decree Dept. documents/forms.
47. Record Room, Criminal, Civil and OJ.
48. Scrutiny of each department, each Judge and Officer's works and data.
25.23 OUR RECOMMENDATIONS :
i. The Commission recommends that each High Court should immediately constitute a Task Force consisting of Senior Judges of the High Court and a computer expert for preparing a comprehensive action plan for implementation of IT in District Court and Courts subordinate thereto.
ii. Such a Plan should not be limited to installation of hardware and software. An analysis of process performance for possibilities of re-engineering must also be undertaken as part of the task.
iii. Changes in organisational practices and regulations, reassignments of rules and responsibilities, work methods and performance criteria will have to be periodically undertaken by the Task Force.
iv. The training of Judicial and other personnel in the use of computer-based systems and new work methods in dealing with new systems arising from re-engineered work must also be undertaken simultaneously.
v. The National
Informatics Centre (NIC) perhaps due to inadequate / insufficient resources -
manpower and financial - has not been able to develop a needed package for all
the District Courts in
Each High Court must immediately inform the Government of India to entrust to private software firms on a competitive tender basis for computerisation and networking programme of District Courts and Courts subordinate thereto.
* * * * *
ANNEXURE - I
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE ACTIVITY ON JUDICIAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING; AND I.T. FOR JUDICIARY HELD ON 12th AND 13th DECEMBER 1998
First National Judicial Pay Commission
(Commission) in association with the Indian Institute of Management,
i) Judicial Education and Training, and
ii) Information Technology for Judiciary
The Activity was inaugurated by Hon’ble Sri Justice B.N. Kirpal, Judge of the Supreme Court of India and presided over by Justice K. Jagannatha Shetty (Rtd.), the Chairman of the Commission, Justice R.P. Sethi, Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court was the Chief Guest.
The Senior Judges of most of the High Courts, the Director of IIM, Bangalore, the Directors of the Judicial Training Institutes of every State, Director of National Police Academy, Legal Luminaries, Professors of Law and Management and Representatives of the Judicial Officers’ Associations attended the Meetings.
In the Technical Sessions in which methodology of introduction of IT in Subordinate Courts was examined, it was found that there is no way out to speed up the course of justice save by computerisation of Subordinate Courts all over the country.
The recommendations of the ‘TASK FORCE’ constituted by the Prime Minister for "Information Technology Action Plan" for all Governmental and non-Governmental levels were perused and found that Judiciary has not been included therein.
WHEREFORE, it is unanimously resolved :
1. "That the Information Technology Action Plan" must include computerisation of the Subordinate Judiciary all over the country. And
2. the Chairman of
FNJPC is authorised to take necessary steps by moving the Prime Minister and
Chief Justice of
Accordingly, the Chairman has written to the
Prime Minister of India as well as the Chief Justice of the
* * * * *
ANNEXURE - II
National Informatics centre
Dt. : February 4, 1999
Subject : Inclusion of Subordinate judiciary in the Information Technology Action Plan.
Under the District Courts Computerisation and networking Programme, the National Informatics Centre (NIC) has already covered implementation of IT in all the 430 District Courts in the country. NIC has received satisfactory support from the District Courts. Under this project considering the availability of funds we could cover up to the level of District Judges and equivalent rank Judges only. Kindly find the enclosed brochure for further details.
The IT Task Force- ‘Working Group on Citizen Interface’ has already considered ‘IT for Judiciary’ in its draft report. Further, the resolution passed by the ‘First National Judicial Pay Commission’ has been forwarded to the Working Group for necessary action.
Special Secretary & Director General
Copy forwarded to :
Justice K. Jagannatha Shetty (Rtd.), Chairman, First National Judicial Pay
(ii) Member Secretary, Planning Commission, No. –nil- dated 28, Jan ’99.
(iii) Addl. Secretary, Deptt. of Justice, PMO U.O. No. 360/31/C/10/98-ES.II. dated 1, Jan ’99.
(iv) K. Srinivasan, Prl. Adviser (C&I), Planning Commission, I.D. No. p-12040/5/98-C&I dated 2-2-1999.
(v) P.K. Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Law & Justice, No. 15014/2/99-JUS (M) dated 28, Jan ’99.
F F F F
District Courts Computerization and
High Court of Allahabad High Court of Andhra Pradesh High Court of Bombay Calcutta High Court
High Court of
High Court of Himachal Pradesh High Court of Jammu & Kashmir
High Court of Karnataka High Court of Kerala
High Court of Punjab & Haryana High Court of Orissa
High Court of
High Court of
NATIONAL INFORMATICS CENTRE
The National Informatics Centre has been giving information Technology support to the Indian Judiciary for over six years. The successful implementation of an information system assisting the registry of the Supreme Court of India in decision making, marked NIC’s first step towards computerisation of Courts. This was closely followed by the computerisation of all High Courts in 1992. Today all High Courts have been computerised and interconnected through NII’s satellite based computer communication network (NICNET); most of them are taking out computer generated Daily Cause Lists. COURTNIC and NICNET have enabled the ready availability of information on pending cases in the Supreme Court at any of the over thousand VSAT nodes of NICNET spread across the country. The JUDIS, the Judgment Information System, archeives all reported cases of Supreme Court right from 1950 onwards and makes it available on NICNET. The complete JUDIS database is now encapsuled in a CD-ROM for ready retrieval. As a logical next step in NIC’s effort is the District Court Computerisation and networking project which helps streamlining the Judicial administration in the lower courts.
The main goal of the District Courts Computerisation and Networking Programme is introducing Information Technology Tools in all areas which are routine and time critical in nature, streamlining the District Judicial Administration and bring about transparency of information to the litigants. The following are the objectives of the project :-
Objectives – 1
o Streamlining judicial administration by computer assisted ‘monitoring of case filing’ by the litigants / advocates.
o Keeping track of movement of case files in the Court.
o Providing Computer-based querying facilities to litigants / advocates
Objectives – 2
o Interconnection of all District Courts, the 18 High Courts and the Supreme Court. Providing e-mail facility among all courts and facilitating the day-to-day interaction with the High Court through NICNET.
Objectives – 3
o Giving access to local, National and International legal databases for the District Judges over NICNET and INTERNET.
Based on the experience gained by NIC from computerization and networking of the Supreme Court and all the 18 High Courts in the country, the following areas were identified for computerisation in all the 430 District Courts.
1. Case File Monitoring
2. Certified Copies
3. Report Generation
4. Library and Database Resource Sharing
5. E-Mail Facility
6. Personnel Information System
7. Pay Roll and Accounts Processing
CASE FILE MONITORING SYSTEM
The computerisation of District Courts envisages a centralised Filing Counter for streamlining the entire activity of filing process. As soon as a case is filed at the filing counter, the computer decides the posting of the case to a judge based on the existing procedure. It will automatically register the case in the District Court and produce a receipt to the litigant / advocate. At the end of each day the computer will generate a list of cases filed on that day in a format similar to the one maintained in a Register, as is the practice. For avoiding the litigants dealing with a multitude of sections for finding out their case status, a query counter is being opened at the Filing Counter. The preliminary details entered in the computer system will be made available immediately at the computer terminal provided in each court room. The judge can have a list of cases posted by the computer on that date in his court.
The terminal provided in each court room along with a printer will substitute the type-writer. When a case is heard by the judge, the order issued by him will be entered straightway into the computer terminal by the clerk concerned. As the computer system will be storing the orders of the court, any further modification suggested by the judge can easily be carried out in the system within a short time. A copy of the order can also be taken from the printer attached to the computer terminal. The staff of the court will update the database by feeding the operative part of the judgment on the computer system. It will ensure that the matter will come on the board on the date given by the Judge. If a notice is required to be served, the computer system will automatically generate the same and also immediately make it available at the query counter terminal.
As all terminals are connected to the main system in LAN any order/judgment that is typed from any court room, will be automatically available on the LAN. The query terminals at the Filing Counter can be used for generation of print-outs of the orders/judgments as certified copies to the litigants. These computer printed orders of courts are to be signed by an officer before they are issued to parties. In this process there would not be any delay in getting certified copies. This will certainly help in generating the certified copies without delay.
All routine notices, orders etc., can be produced from the computer terminal as the computer system has the formats of various notices and addresses of the parties, it can automatically generate various types of notices.
FAST REPORT GENERATION
The following reports can be generated by the Software
o List of cases filed on a particular date
o List of cases heard/disposed of by a judge on a particular day
o Statistical reports required by the District Court authorities.
District Court Computerisation and Networking Programme will benefit the management, the judges, the advocates and the litigants alike :
o Monitoring of case flow will be easy
o Litigants, Advocates get case related information at one place
o Posting of cases to various courts will be transparent
o Litigants can get certified copies instantaneously
o Accurate statistical information can be generated
o Cause Lists for each court can be generated automatically
o Caveat Matching will take place at the filing stage itself
o All required notices can be generated automatically
o Preparation of orders/judgments becomes simpler
o Introduction of IT Tools will bring an innovative approach and a better work culture in the District Court.
o National and International legal databases will be readily available to judges, advocates and litigants.
o E-Mail and Internet facilities will be available to every district court.
For further information contact :
Courts Informatics Division
A-Block, CGO Complex
Grams : NICNET HQ
Ph:4364292 Fax :91-11-4362489, 4362628
26.1 Our terms of reference do not require us to indicate the methodology of constituting the All India Judicial Service. It is the responsibility of the Central Government as per decision of the Supreme Court in the All India Judges' Case 1. The Supreme Court observed as follows :
"We are of the view that the Law Commission's recommendation should not have been dropped lightly. There is considerable force and merit in the view expressed by the Law Commission. An All India Judicial Service essentially for manning the higher services in the subordinate judiciary is very much necessary. The reasons advanced by the Law Commission for recommending the setting up of an All India Judicial Service appeal to us.
Since the setting up of such a service might require amendment of the relevant Articles of the Constitution of the Service Rules operating in the different States and Union Territories, we do not intend to give any particular direction on this score particularly when the point was not seriously pressed but we would commend to the Union of India to undertake appropriate exercise quickly so that the feasibility of implementation of the recommendations of the Law Commission may be examined expeditiously and implemented as early as possible. It is in the interest of the health of the judiciary throughout the country that this should be done."
1. AIR 1992 SC 165.
26.2 We have received the status report from the Government of India on the proposal of constituting the All India Judicial Service. The status report dated 10-2-1997 runs as follows :
"The Supreme Court of India in the Writ Petition (Civil) No.1022 of 1989 between All India Judges Association Versus Union of India in its judgment dated 10th April, 1995 has given the direction to Union of India to take immediate measures for the implementation of the direction, to achieve the objective of setting up of All India Judicial Service. Since a Resolution will have to be moved in the Rajya Sabha in this regard, the Government has sought the views of the State Governments / High Courts in the matter.
2. So far we have
received comments from 23 States. Comments are still awaited from Governments of
3. Of the 18 High
Courts, we have received the views - comments of 16 High Courts. Views of the
Calcutta High Court and the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir are awaited. The
High Courts of Allahabad,
4. In the light of the recommendation of the Law Commission of India, direction of the Supreme Court and views / comments of the State Governments / High Courts, the question of setting up All India Judicial Service through a resolution of the Rajya Sabha and an enactment of Parliament under article 312 of the Constitution is under consideration."
26.3 The Commission in order to assist the Central Government wanted to ascertain the views of the High Courts and State Governments as to the qualifications and method of recruitment to All India Judicial Service. The Commission circulated the following question :
The States Reorganisation Commission has observed that creation of All India
Service would be a major compelling necessity for the Nation and it has
suggested that a proportion of the Higher Judiciary should be recruited by
competitive examination at All
The Supreme Court has unequivocally stated that it is in the interest of the health of the judiciary throughout the country that an All India Judicial Service should be constituted. The Supreme Court has, however, left the matter to the Union of India to undertake quickly appropriate exercise in that regard. Please set out the qualifications and method of recruitment to All India Judicial Service?
26.4 Responses received from the High Courts and State Governments may briefly be summarised as follows :
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH :
26.4.1 All India Judicial Services (AIJS) will be composed of Officers selected on All India basis and allotted to State cadre, to remain in that State to ensure the effective control of the High Court in the interest of judicial administration. The initial entry to the AIJS should be to the cadre of Subordinate Judge/Asst. Sessions Judge / Civil Judge (Senior Division). 60% posts in the cadre of Sub-Judges should be allocated directly to the cadre of AIJS. The inservice Judicial Officers may also be permitted to compete for AIJS. There should be a Committee for selection consisting of two Chief Justices of High Courts, one Judge of the Supreme Court, Director of National Judicial Academy and Chairman, UPSC.
GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH :
26.4.2 Government of Andhra Pradesh is not in
favour of constitution of AIJS.
26.4.3 Qualification for recruitment to AIJS
should be law graduate and experience of one year at the Bar.
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AND GOVERNMENT OF
26.4.4 Oppose to setting up of AIJS.
HIGH COURT OF JAMMU & KASHMIR :
26.4.5 No comments.
HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA :
26.4.6 Not furnished reply.
GOVERNMENT OF KARNATAKA :
26.4.7 Opposes the constitution of AIJS.
HIGH COURT OF KERALA AND GOVERNMENT OF KERALA :
26.4.8 No comments.
HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH :
26.4.9 Candidates with practice of not less
than seven years with the maximum age limit of 40 years should alone be
considered for AIJS and 40% of the sanctioned strength is to be filled up by
HIGH COURT OF
26.4.10 Views on AIJS can be expressed only when the Government of India makes a decision as to how it is going to carry out the exercise of constituting the AIJS.
26.4.11 Seven years practice as an Advocate
should be prescribed for AIJS.
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA :
26.4.12 The recruitment should be akin to the
Indian Civil Service Examination and qualification for recruitment should be
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB & HARYANA :
26.4.13 Not in favour of formation of AIJS, as
it will negate the control of the High Court under Article 235 of the
Constitution. If created, it may be on par with the Central Services such as IAS,
IPS, IFS etc.
RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT :
26.4.14 AIJS should consist of promotees to
the higher judiciary from the subordinate judiciary of the State only and for
direct recruits, 7 years Bar practice should be prescribed with the minimum age
of 35 years. Inservice people should be allowed to compete for AIJS.
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS AND GOVERNMENT OF TAMIL NADU :
26.4.15 Not in favour of AIJS.
26.4.16 AIJS can be constituted by absorbing
all the existing members of the State Judicial Service on the lines of IFS
(Indian Forest Service). Thereafter, recruitment should be made through National
Judicial Service Commission. Fresh law graduates should be allowed to compete.
26.4.17 AIJS has to be constituted in terms of
the Constitution and observations of the Supreme Court and the Law Commission.
Recruitment must be by the National Judicial Service Commission. The age limit
may be 30 to 33 years and qualification for recruitment must be a degree in law.
26.4.18 Not in favour of AIJS.
26.5 It will be seen from the above comments
and views that some High Courts and State Governments are of the view that the
power of control under Article 235 of the Constitution will be belittled if AIJS
is constituted. They are perhaps under the impression that AIJS is an
independent Service, unconnected with the State Judicial Service.
SERVICE ASSOCIATIONS :
26.6 Invariably, Officers' Associations have
opposed the formation of AIJS, perhaps on the ground that their seniority will
be affected and their chances of promotion will be diminished.
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS :
26.7 In our opinion, it is necessary to allay these apprehensions while constituting AIJS. Bearing that in mind, we indicate herein the broad outlines for consideration of the Central Government for constituting the AIJS :
(i) The AIJS could be constituted only in the cadre of District Judges as per the provisions of Article 312(3) of the Constitution. The District Judges directly recruited and promoted should constitute the AIJS.
(ii) The selection for direct recruitment should be by National Judicial commission / UPSC and promotees by the respective High Courts.
(iii) The qualification for direct recruitment to AIJS should be in conformity with that prescribed under Article 233(2) of the Constitution - i.e., Advocate / Pleader who has got not less than 7 years Bar practice.
(iv) Service Judges also should be allowed to compete for recruitment to AIJS, by appropriately amending Article 233(2) of the Constitution. (See V.II, Chapter 11).
(v) Not exceeding 25% of the posts in the cadre of District Judges in every State should be ear-marked for direct recruitment.
(vi) The age limit for recruitment to AIJS should be between 35 and 45 years.
(vii) The procedure for selection shall be by written examination followed by viva voce.
(See: V. II, Chapter 10).
(viii) Appointment : The National Judicial Commission / UPSC, after selecting the candidates for direct recruitment to the cadre of District Judges, must allocate to the States / UTs, the candidates equal to the vacancies that are surrendered by them. The High Court thereupon will recommend those names to the Governor for appointment as per Article 233 of the Constitution.
(ix) Training : The prescribed training is only after appointment.
(x) Seniority : All India Seniority is as per the ranking in the select list..
(xi) Inter-se Seniority in the State / UT : The inter-se seniority between the direct recruits and promotees shall be determined according to the date of allotment and date of promotion.
(xii) Such direct recruits must thus be annexed to the respective State Judicial Service within the three-tier system.
(xiii) Court Language : The recording of the deposition in all Courts should be in two languages - (i) Regional language (to be recorded by the Court Officer); and (ii) English (by the Presiding Officer).
26.8 We are of the opinion that, if the AIJS is constituted in the manner indicated, the apprehension of the High Courts, the Service Judges and the Governments could be minimised, if not totally eliminated.
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