Hyderabad: The Central government is calling for a key reform in the Indian judicial system. Besides the existing Indian Administrative service (IAS) and the Indian Police service (IPS), the Centre is now planning to an Indian Judicial Service (IJS).
This was first proposed by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government but was not implemented. Now that the BJP government is in power, it looks like it wants to get it done. Moreover, there are talks that Telangana will have a National Judicial Academy where all the IJS officials will be trained. As of now, the first level of the judicial system, the junior civil judge (magistrate), and the next level of the judiciary, the district judges, are appointed by the High Court. Meanwhile, collegiums are organised for the appointments of High Court judges.
Now, the Centre is planning to appoint district judges through IAS and IPS exams. Only law graduates will be eligible for this examination. Students who pass the examination will get the same level of education in IJS as others get in IAS and IPS. During their education, they will have opportunities either as district judges or IAS.
Experts also say that the introduction of IJS will not disturb the status of the judicial system. As candidates will be selected through UPSC for the IJS, things like appointment as district judges and transfers will come under the jurisdiction of the High court. Candidates who've been selected through IJS and become district judges will also have the chance to get appointments in the High Courts and Supreme Court. The appointment will depend on their seniority. As the district judges will be appointed by the UPSC, the junior civil judges will be selected by the IJS based on their service and performance.
While the National Judicial Academy is planning to be set up in Hyderabad, the organisation which trains IAS candidates is in Uttarakhand's Mussoorie and the National Police academy ( NPA) which trains IPS officers is in Hyderabad. The Centre's decision to set up the judicial academy in south India is because it is planning to clear the air that it isn't giving any priority to the northern states.
Meanwhile, even Maharashtra is in the race to set up the NJA in the state. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey has said that the NJA will come up in his state and the government is also ready to give the required land. However, two suitable locations in Hyderabad have already been selected. The Chief Justice of the High Court and some higher officials have identified land in Shamshabad and Ibrahimpatnam. The big question here is whether the NJA will be set up in Hyderabad or Maharashtra.
Speaking on the same, retired judge Justice N. Ramalingeshwar Rao said, " This is a very nice idea. It will contribute to the nation's progress. The intervention in local behavior will reduce. Language isn't a big problem. This will largely help in the better working of the judicial system."
M. Sunil Kumar, associate professor at Nalsar University, said, "This is a great opportunity for law students. Not even one per cent of the people who've studied in national law universities are appointed judges. The IJS will give talented law students opportunities to get into the services."