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President Droupadi Murmu bats for All India Judicial Service exam for selection of judges

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New Delhi. President of Bharat Droupadi Murmu suggested that the selection of judges to courts could be done through the conduct of a nationwide, All India Judicial Service (AIJS) examination.

President Murmu observed that such a move could also help candidates from underprivileged backgrounds join the judiciary.

“Today the world is waiting to see Bharat’s progress. We should take some steps for children from the underprivileged sections to join the judiciary. There can be an AIJS and those who aspire to be on the bench can be selected from across the country talent pool. I leave it to you to devise a mechanism so that this aspect of justice delivery can be strengthened,” she said.

Notably, the Law Commission of India had recommended the formation of an AIJS in its 116th Report released back in 1986.

In 1992, the Supreme Court had ruled that the recommendations of the Law Commission “be examined expeditiously and implemented as early as possible” by the Centre.

The proposal to create an AIJS has since made rounds in debates for some years, yet no significant development has happened till date due differences in opinion among stakeholders.

The Central Government, in 2016, had told the Delhi High Court that the Centre and the judiciary had been in a deadlock over the issue. The creation of AIJS was also formally discussed by the Law Ministry in January 2017.

In 2018, the Supreme Court refused to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) petition seeking the creation of an AIJS for the recruitment of judges, observing that it is not something that can be done by a “judicial order”.

In 2021, as per a statement made by the then Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju in 2021, 8 States and 13 High Courts expressed that they were not in favour of the initiative while the Central government opined that “a properly framed All India Judicial Service is important to strengthen overall justice delivery system”.

President Murmu made her remarks on the topic while rendering an address as part of Constitution Day celebrations held at the Supreme Court of India.

She also spoke of how the process of decolonisation in Bharat could be sped up if the youth of the country were better sensitised to its history including the contributions of the Dr. BR Ambedkar.

“To improve the system of access to justice, we should make it citizen centric. I am sure we can speed up the process of decolonisation in other spheres as well and it will happen better by involving the youth and the youth is more interested in our history and if they focus on the transformative work by Dr. Ambedkar and others then the future of the country is in better hands,” she said.

Other dignitaries who attended the Constitution Day event included Supreme Court judges, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sanjiv Khanna; Attorney General R Venkataramani; Union Minister of State in charge of Law, Arjun Meghwal and SCBA President Dr. Adish C Aggarwala.

The function also saw the launch of three new initiatives, namely a Hindi version of the Supreme Court’s e-SCR portal, an online portal named FASTER 2.0 to facilitate the release of prisoners from jail without delay and a justice clock.

Input Courtesy – Bar&Bench

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