In India, becoming a young judge is considered a prestigious and significant
achievement. To become a judge in this country, you must have a certain level of
discipline and commitment. The Indian judicial system is designed in such a way
that there are several courts at various levels in every district of a given
state, each with different mandates. Specialized courts exist for certain
special purposes or statutes. The district and sessions courts are the highest
courts in a district.
Each state has its own process for selecting judges, which
includes examinations and interviews. There is a lot of similarity in how
different states choose their judges, but there are many distinctive aspects. It
also appears that the criteria for becoming a judge have been established to
give some advantage to the local candidates. Every year, over 70,000 people
apply for the Judicial Services Examination, although only 1% to 2% end up
clearing the examinations successfully.
Preliminary and major exams are required
in all states, followed by an interview process. The entire procedure can take
up to a year or more, from writing the preliminary exam to the interview phase
and the announcement of the final selected applicants. For people who are
interested in serving the public in a high-status position, judicial service is
a viable alternative. It provides a secure and safe job opportunity with a
competitive wage package.
There are two entry levels of judicial service examinations: The lower judiciary
service and the higher judiciary service.
The Lower judiciary services essentially comprise of three cadres of judges:
District Judges, Senior Civil Judges & Civil Judges who are at the Junior
Division. These judges have both civil as well as criminal jurisdiction. These
exams are administered by public service commissions or the respective state's
High Courts. They distribute advertisements and notices.
Higher Judicial Services or HJS is open for lawyers who have some experience
under their belt. This is usually a seven-year experience. Typically, the
syllabus for these tests is the same. The additional benefit of competing and
passing the higher judiciary tests is that the candidate is posted as an
additional district judge, which places them above the lower judicial service
officials. It also allows for promotion to the High Courts of respective
The Judicial Services Examination, also known as the PCS (J)-Provincial
Civil Service-Judicial Examination, is required to become a judge in the Indian
Judicial Services. The PCS-J test is for law graduates who want to work as
members of the subordinate judiciary. This exam is the only way for new law
school graduates to become a Subordinate Court Judge. Preliminary Examination,
Main Examination, and Viva-Voce/Interview are the three stages of the Judicial
The preliminary exam is used to screen candidates for the main exam. It consists
of multiple-choice questions. For the final selection, the marks obtained in the
preliminary examination are not taken into account. The minimum qualifying marks
in the preliminary examination is 60 per cent for general and 55 per cent for
reserved categories. State by state, the percentages of qualifying marks differ.
The main exam is a subjective form of test, three to four papers make up the
exam, and candidates' scores are used to determine the final selection.
Candidates equal to three times the number of vacancies are called for
viva-voce. Candidates are evaluated on general interest, personality, and IQ,
among other things, at this stage of the Viva-Voce/Personal Interview stage. The
syllabus varies across states. It is divided into three sections: civil law,
criminal law, and a language paper.
Minimum required qualifications
A degree in LL.B. and enrolment or qualification to be enrolled as an Advocate
under section 24 of the Advocates' Act 1961 are the requirements for appearing
in the Judicial Services Examination.
For fresh law graduates the minimum requirements to become a judge or apply for
the examination, are distinct from others. The minimum age requirement for a
fresh law graduate is not less than 21 years and not above 35 years of age. An
applicant must have an LL.B degree with all examinations cleared.
For any person who's already a practising Advocate, Attorney or Pleader, the
minimum age requirement is not below 21 years and not above 35 years of age,
similar to that of the fresh law graduates, and that similarly applies to the
academic qualifications as well. However, the requirements are different when
one wants to practise in the High Courts and the Supreme Court.
- Direct Recruitment:
- Must be holder of a degree in Law granted by a University established by
Law in India and must have been enrolled as an Advocate.
- Must not have completed as on the last date fixed for receipt of
applications, Thirty Eight years of age in the case of candidates belonging
to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe and Thirty Five years of age in the
case of others.
- Scale of Pay:
Apart from the basic salary, the Civil Judge is entitled to get many other
allowances such as House Rent Allowance, Dearness Allowance, Travel Allowance,
Partial Vehicle Allowance and Pension after Retirement.
- Method of Recruitment:
By direct recruitment on the basis of aggregate of marks obtained in a
Competitive Examination (Main Written Examination and Viva-Voce) conducted
by the High Court.
- The Competitive Examination for recruitment of Civil Judges shall consist
of 3 stages i.e.,
- Preliminary Examination
- Main Written Examination and
The marks secured in
the Preliminary Examination is considered only for Eligibility for the Main
- Preliminary Examination:
The Preliminary Examination shall be conducted by way of Objective Type
Question Paper consisting of 100 marks and the syllabi for the said
examination shall be the following, namely:- Part-A-Code of Civil
Procedure, 1908; Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Transfer of Property Act,
1882; Indian Contract Act, 1872; Specific Relief Act, 1963; Indian
Constitution; and Karnataka Rent Act, 1999. Part-B - Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973; Indian Penal code, 1860; and Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
Part-C - General knowledge - Test of reasoning and mental ability.
- Main Written Examination:
- Translation Paper (Maximum Marks 100) There will be one translation paper
and the candidates will be required to translate passages in English into
Kannada and Kannada into English. The Passages will be from (1) Depositions,
(2) Judgments and (3) Documents. 12
- Law Paper I (Maximum Marks 100) The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908; The
Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; The Indian Evidence Act, 1872; Principles
of Pleading and The Constitution of India.
- Law Paper II (Maximum Marks 100) Framing of Issues and writing of
Judgments in Civil Cases. (iv) Law Paper III (Maximum Marks 100) Framing of
Charges and writing of Judgments in Criminal cases.
(Maximum Marks 100) The candidates General Knowledge, grasp of principles of
law and suitability for appointment as Civil Judge shall be tested.
- Computer Test:
(Maximum Marks 25) The test of knowledge of computers shall carry maximum
25 marks and such marks secured by the candidate shall be considered for
ascertaining the suitability and computer knowledge of the candidates and shall
not be aggregated to the total marks obtained in the Main Written Examination
"Every Judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant
under his hand and seal after consultation with such Judges of the Supreme Court
and the High Courts in the States as the President may think necessary," is
written in Article 124(2) of the Indian Constitution. The article further
specifies that if a judge other than the Chief Justice of India is to be
appointed, the Chief Justice of India must be consulted.
Furthermore, these credentials are required:
- Indian citizenship; and
- Has served as a judge in a High Court or two or more High Courts in
succession for at least ten years; or
- Has worked as an advocate for at least ten years in one or more High
Courts in a row; or
- From the perspective of India's President, he is a respected jurist.
"Every Judge of a High Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant
under his hand and seal after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, the
Governor of the State, and, in the case of appointment of a Judge other than the
Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of the High Court," is explained in Article
217(1) of the Constitution of India.
These qualifications are also required, according to Article 217(2):
- Citizenship of India; and
- has served in the Indian judiciary for at least 10 years; or
- has served as an advocate in one or more High Courts in succession for
at least ten years.
This occupation needs legal knowledge and the ability to comprehend the law from
numerous perspectives. A thorough understanding of all areas of law is required.
The salary scales for judges differ depending on their position. The retirement
age for a Supreme court judge is 65 years, whereas for a High Court judge the
retirement age is 62 years. Finally, in India, becoming a judge is not a one-way
While the profession has a lot of prestige, it also requires a lot of
hard work, training, and years of dedication upfront. A person who aspires to be
a judge must also contribute to the nation's development, advancement, and a
positive attitude, as well as the ability to perform under duress.
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Kishan Dutt Kalaskar
Authentication No: JU40984179970-23-0622