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All-India Judicial Services cannot take shape without consultations: Prasad

Addressing a seminar here on the subject, he also said the proposed All-India Judicial Services would ensure that lawyers from the "marginalised" communities get due representation in the lower judiciary.


All-India Judicial Services cannot take shape without consultations: Prasad
The document, sent to all members of the parliamentary consultative committee on law and justice in August 2017, also states that most of the 24 high courts want control over the subordinate judiciary. (Image Credit: Twitter)

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Tuesday pitched for an all-India service to recruit judges for the lower judiciary but said the concept cannot take shape without consultations as several states and high courts are opposed to the idea.

Addressing a seminar here on the subject, he also said the proposed All-India Judicial Services would ensure that lawyers from the "marginalised" communities get due representation in the lower judiciary.

He said if such a service comes up, it would help create a pool of talented people who would later become part of the higher judiciary -- the 24 high courts and the Supreme Court.

Prasad rejected criticism that people from other states will face problems in holding court proceedings due to the language barrier.

Proceedings in lower courts are held in regional languages.

He said an IAS officer from Kerala learns to speak in Hindi while posted in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar. Similarly, people can learn other languages, he said.

But at the same time, he said that several states and high courts are opposed to the concept and the idea cannot be implemented without consultations.

"The time has come for all-India services to recruit lower court judges," Prasad said.

His address was disrupted on a few occasions when some in the audience objected to his oblique remarks against the Congress while referring to the role of B R Ambedkar and Sardar Patel in building post-independence India.

Nine high courts have opposed a proposal to have an all-India service for lower judiciary, eight have sought changes in the proposed framework and only two have supported the idea, a law ministry document says.

The document, sent to all members of the parliamentary consultative committee on law and justice in August 2017, also states that most of the 24 high courts want control over the subordinate judiciary.

The Narendra Modi government has given a fresh push to the long-pending proposal to set up the new service to have a separate cadre for the lower judiciary in the country. The idea was first mooted in the 1960s.

According to the document, the high courts of Andhra Pradesh, Bombay, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Patna and, Punjab and Haryana "have not favoured the idea of All-India Judicial Service (AIJS)". It said only the high courts of Sikkim and Tripura have concurred with the proposal approved by the committee of secretaries for the formation of an all-India service for the lower judiciary.

The high courts of Allahabad, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Orissa and Uttarakhand have suggested changes in age at induction level, qualifications, training and quota of vacancies to filled through the proposed service.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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