All India Judicial Service (AIJS)
Recently a report by Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy was released namely 'A primer on the All India Judicial Service - A solution in search of a problem'. The report points out several issues in pitching AIJS as a solution to judicial vacancies.
• Currently, the appointments of District Judges and Subordinate Judiciary are done by the respective State governments. But in recent years, there has been an invigorated push for the creation of a unified pan-India judicial service for appointing them.
• AIJS has been pitched as a solution to judicial vacancies, lack of representation for the marginalised and the failure to attract the best talent.
Is AIJS the Panacea of Indian Judiciary?
Though there are large number of vacancies in lower judiciary, they are ironically located in few High Court jurisdiction. Hence the larger need is to investigate the reasons and causes for a large number of vacancies in the poorly performing States.
The issue of representation of marginalized sections in Judiciary is better addressed through reservation of post, which is followed in many states. AIJS on the other hand might leave OBC out of its ambit.
Given the linguistic diversity of India, judges with sound knowledge of local language is sine qua non. This is the primary reason behind the fact that the proceedings of civil and criminal courts are to be conducted in a language prescribed by the respective State Governments.
India has a large pendency of court cases, and this has affected the judiciary’s ability to provide justice. While the creation of an All India Judicial Services was seen as a solution to this and other problems since its introduction in 1958, the idea has received a mixed response. Hence a study on the basic problems of Indian Judicial System should be conducted comprehensively to reach to an all-encompassing solution.
History of AIJS
The idea of AIJS was first mooted by the first Law Commission of India in 1958 in its 14th report.
AIJS was also supported by the chief justice’s conference of 1961, 1963, and 1965.
The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 made the provision for the creation of AIJS under article 312. But no such law has been made so far.
Comprehensive guidelines for the creation of the AIJS were laid down by the Law Commission in its 116th report.
Recent government at the centre has constantly been pushing for the creation of AIJS on the lines of All India Civil Services.
NITI Aayog has also solicited for setting up of an All India Judicial Service (AIJS) for appointing and recruiting judges in lower courts through an all India judicial services examination in its document ‘Strategy for New India@75’.