NEET-like exam suggested for recruitment of judges in lower courts

The Narendra Modi government has proposed to the Supreme Court to conduct NEET-like entrance exams to recruit judges in lower courts of India, reports said. The central government came up with the proposal on Monday after several states including those ruled by the BJP, namely Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Arunachal Pradesh, opposed Centre's plan to establish an All-India Judicial Service (AIJS) to fill vacancies in the lower judiciary.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

According to Hindustan TimesSnehalata Srivastava, law ministry secretary (justice), recently wrote a letter to the Supreme Court, saying, “Adoption of the model followed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for conducting undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses could also be explored.”

The Tribune mentioned that as per Srivastava, recruitment of judges can have some characteristics that are followed by the Institute of Banking and Personnel Selection. The Tribune references Srivastava's special letter. The meeting was held between government representatives and the judiciary to discuss speedy justice, and the issue of vacancies in lower courts also came up for discussion. The government also proposed that the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) could also conduct the entrance test.

Srivastava's letter had come after a meeting between the government representatives and the judiciary on 8 April.

The Times of India reported that Adarsh Goel, apex court judge, chaired the meeting. Goel also heads the Arrears Committee. The meeting further suggested alternative methods of recruitment, namely creation of a central selection mechanism.

Srivastava's letter has been sent to the states for their views, as per India Today, and the issue of recruitment may come up for hearing in July after the court's summer break ends.

According to the report, the lower judiciary is facing a crunch of judges with vacancies nearing 4,500, and although the sanctioned strength is 20,502 in the country, the actual number of judges/judicial officers in subordinate courts amounts to only 16,050.

In order to resolve the pending cases that amount to three crore, the Centre will have to work efficiently with the Supreme Court, DNA said. A plausible reform will have to be enforced soon to avoid people's lack of belief in the judiciary.

According to DNA, the law ministry, in another proposal, had also said that a "centralised examination" could be held by a "recruitment body" for selection of candidates. The recruitment body can function under the supervision of the Supreme Court, it added.

Incidentally, the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre had supported forming an AJIS a few months back, but the decision had faced stiff resistance from states.

According to India Today, while Maharashtra is not against AIJS, it wanted recruitment for it to be done in such a way that the Law Ministry feels is "not in consonance" with the provisions of the service included in the Constitution. The report also says that governments of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Manipur, Odisha and Uttarakhand also wanted major changes in AIJC.


Updated Date: Jun 12, 2017 19:27 PM

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