In the light of inefficiencies of the current judicial system, examine the need for putting in place an All India Judicial Service.
The judicial system of India has many systematic inefficiencies which hamper the delivery of justice.
- High pendency of cases (2.3 million cases).
- Low judge-Population ratio: 19.6 judges per 1 million citizens – Law commission. Ideally should be 40 to 50 per million.
- Outdated civil and criminal procedure, leads to loopholes, delay in justice.
- Low penetration of technology: reluctance to use IT in the lower judiciary.
- Specialized cases: lack of expertise (IP laws, Taxation).
Key reforms needed:
- Reduce pendency: adopt time bound justice delivery, prevent undue adjournment and postponement of hearings.
- Reduce government litigations.
- Alternate dispute resolution.
- Adoption of Technology (e-Courts, National Judicial Data Grid), allow appearance through video conference.
- Specialized course for niche subjects like intellectual property law, taxation, etc.
- Filling of vacancies in lower judiciary.
- Establishing All India Judicial Service.
All India Judicial Service (AIJS):
- Provided in article 126 of Constitution.
- Will help in forming standardized recruitment of judicial officers.
- Ensure uniform quality of officers.
- Prevent delays and allegations of corruption in current pattern.
- Hampers federal structure.
- Lack of knowledge of local customs, language.
- Commercialization of recruitment, difficult for rural/poor candidates to prepare.
While the idea of AIJS is promising in the realm of judicial reforms, it has to be implemented with proper safeguards and in tandem with other equally important measures.
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