[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Union Government today informed the Lok Sabha that in its view a properly framed All India Judicial Service is important to strengthen overall justice delivery system.
Replying to a question asked by Members of Parliament (MP) Rajmohan Unnithan and Pinaki Misra, the Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad added All India Judicial Service would give an opportunity for induction of suitably qualified fresh legal talent selected through a proper all-India merit selection system as well as address the issue of social inclusion by enabling suitable representation to marginalized and deprived sections of society.
Law Minister further informed that there was a divergence of opinion among the State Governments and among the High Courts on the constitution of All India Judicial Service. While some State Governments and High Courts favoured the proposal, some were not in favour of the creation of All India Judicial Service while some others wanted changes in the proposal formulated by the Central Government
The High Courts of Sikkim and Tripura have concurred with the proposal approved by the Committee of Secretaries for the formation of All India Judicial Service. 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 be filled through All India Judicial Service.
Rests of the High Courts, as informed by the Law Minister, have not favoured the idea. Most of the High Courts want the administrative control over the Subordinate Judiciary to remain with the respective High Courts. The High Courts of Jharkhand and Rajasthan have indicated that the matter regarding the creation of AIJS is under consideration. No response has been received from the High Courts of Calcutta, Jammu & Kashmir and Gauhati.
According to information shared by the law minister in Lok Sabha, the State Governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Punjab do not favour the formation of AIJS.
The State Government of Maharashtra, on the other hand, wants the recruitment to be done at Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) level, which is not in consonance with the provisions of AIJS included in the Constitution of India.
The State Governments of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Manipur, Orissa and Uttarakhand want changes in the proposal formulated by the Central Government.
“The State Government of Haryana has stated that the proposal seems to be justified. The State Government of Mizoram supported creation of AIJS on the lines of IAS, IPS and other Central Services. The then State of Jammu and Kashmir had mentioned that provisions of Constitution of India for formation of AIJS incorporated in the Constitution by 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 are not applicable to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. No response has yet been received from rest of the States”, said law minister.
The proposal of setting up of an All India Judicial service was again discussed on points of eligibility, age, selection criteria, qualification, reservations etc in a meeting chaired by Minister of Law and Justice on January 16, 2017 in the presence of Minister of State for Law and Justice, Attorney General of India, Solicitor General of India, Secretaries of Department of Justice, Legal Affairs and Legislative Department.
“In view of the existing divergence of opinion amongst the stakeholders the Government is engaged in a consultative process with the stakeholders to arrive at a common ground”, said law minister in Lok Sabha.