All India Judges' Assn. Vs. Union of India  INSC
425 (12 August 1994)
M.N.(Cj) Venkatachalliah, M.N.(Cj) Mohan, S. (J)
1994 AIR 2771 1994 SCC (6) 314 1994 SCALE (4)5
these IAs can be dealt with under a common order.
All India Judges' Assn. v. Union of India1, when directions were sought from
this Court for setting up an All India Judicial Service and for bringing about
uniform conditions of service and perks for members of subordinate judiciary
throughout the country, the following directions as mentioned in paragraph 63
of the said judgment were issued : (SCC pp. 140-41) "(i) An All India
Judicial Service should be set up and the Union of India should take
appropriate steps in this regard.
Steps should be taken to bring about uniformity in designation of officers both
in civil and the criminal side by 31-3-1992.
Retirement age of judicial officers be raised to 60 years and appropriate steps
are to be taken by 31-12-1992.
As and when the Pay Commissions/Committees are set up in the States and Union Territories, the question of appropriate pay scales of judicial
officers be specifically referred and considered.
working library at the residence of every judicial officer has to be provided
by 30-6-1992. Provision for sumptuary allowance
as stated has to be made.
Residential accommodation to every judicial officer has to be provided and
until State accommodation is available, Government should provide requisitioned
accommodation for them in the manner indicated by 31-12-1992. In providing residential accommodation,availability of an
office room should be kept in view.
Every District Judge and Chief Judicial Magistrate should have a State vehicle,
judicial officers in sets of five should have a pool vehicle and others would
be entitled to suitable loans to acquire two- wheeler automobile within
different time- limits as specified.
In-service Institute should be set up within one year at the Central and State
or Union Territory level."
Review Petitions were filed seeking review of the judgment. With regard to the
qualification for recruitment to judicial posts in the lower rung, it was held
in All India Judges' Assn. v. Union of India2 in paragraph 20 as under: (SCC p.
301) "It is hence, necessary that all the States prescribe the said
minimum practice as a lawyer as a necessary qualification for recruitment to
the lowest rung in the judiciary." This review was done on 24-8-1993. 1 (1992) 1 SCC 11 9: 1992 SCC (L&S) 9: (1992)
19 ATC 42 2 (1993) 4 SCC 288: 1994 SCC (L&S) 148: (1993) 25 ATC 818 316
IA No. 14 of 1994, the State of Kerala is the petitioner. It seeks three clarifications :
Whether Rule 5(3) of the Kerala Judicial Service Rules, 1991 can be retained as
Whether the directions contained in paras 20, 24 and 52(a) of the judgment will
apply retrospectively to the service candidates who are already working as
Five years' legal practice prescribed as minimum qualification for appointment
to the lowest category of judicial service namely Munsif-Magistrates requires
to be amended since Rule 10(1) prescribes five years' standing for the
Advocates as three years' practice.
No. 15 has been filed by the Kerala High Court Staff Association and others
again seeking clarifications that under Kerala Subordinate Magisterial Service
Rules, 1962, appointment to the cadre of Sub-Magistrate, the lowest rung in
judicial hierarchy, was by transfer from among prescribed categories. These
rules along with Kerala Civil Judicial Service Rules, 1973 and Kerala Criminal
Judicial Service Rules, 1973 came into force with effect from 18-9- 1973. Both
these rules provided for appointment of service personnel to the lowest rung in
each service from out of category of persons having experience in law through
courts without actually having practice at the Bar. On and from 1-1-1992, the Kerala
Judicial Service Rules integrated both the services i.e. Kerala Civil Judicial
Services and Kerala Criminal Judicial Services provided for direct recruitment
by transfer from among the categories like Assistant Public Prosecutor,
Grade-1, Grade-II, Assistant Registrars, Private Secretary to the Chief Justice
and other officers of the High Court.
This method of appointment was not brought to the knowledge of this Court when
this Court was dealing with the fixation of qualification of appointment. Thus,
it is submitted that the requirement of legal practice for a minimum three
years applies only in the case of direct recruitment from the Bar and not for
appointment by transfer from service personnel as provided under the Rules made
in exercise of the power under Article 234 of the Constitution.
No. 16 of 1994 is an application for intervention by the High Court of Kerala,
represented by the Registrar, High Court of Kerala.
8. Mr Altaf
Ahmed, learned counsel appearing for the State of Kerala in IA No. 14 would
urge that the prayers in the IAs are highly necessary so that the position of
the service candidates may be settled. The officers enumerated under Rule 5(3)
of Kerala Judicial Service Rules have knowledge and are acquainted with
substantive and procedural laws.
require to be treated on par with advocates having experience in the Bar.
Then again, under Rule 10(1) of said rules, a minimum five years' standing in
the Bar has been prescribed.
they could be retained, is a matter which requires clarification.
P.S. Poti, teamed Senior Counsel appearing for the applicant in IA No. 16 of
1994 would strongly plead that having regard to the rules which contemplate the
rule by transfer which is one of the sources of appointment, that rule may be
retained because experience has shown that these various categories of persons
have not been found wanting either in integrity or capacity to do judicial
work. In their cases, the requirement of three years' minimum practice at Bar
should not be insisted upon.
have given our careful consideration to the facts of the instant case. This
Court in All India Judges' case2 (review) held in paragraph 20 as under: (SCC
p. 301) "It is, hence, necessary that all the States prescribe the said
minimum practice as a lawyer as a necessary qualification for recruitment to the
lowest rung in the judiciary." The above extract underscores the necessity
of legal practice. In our considered view, such a practice is highly essential
to be recruited to a judicial office. Daily practice in the courts strengthens
and develops not only the innate qualities of intellect and character but also
those of patience, temper and resilience which are so important in the practice
of the law. A period of training prior to ascending the Bench will help to
repair some of the gaps which may have been created by the demands of life at
is stated in Samuel Warren's Law Studies at page II 2 as under:
affords scope for the highest moral and intellectual energies, while exposing
littleness and meanness to contempt inevitable and unutterable. It has special
temptations, and exquisite trials; but also resplenden t rewards for the great
and true-hearted, who, resisting those temptations, and enduring those trials,
turning to neither the right hand nor the left, nor poorly fainting by the way,
hold on to the end." As an advocate, a person has to present and expound
law, as such be fulfils an important social need, namely, the upholding and
preserving of society against onslaughts of selfish tyrants, be they
individuals, communities or the State, Blackstone in his introduction to
commentaries, has spoken of law as " a science which distinguishes the
criterion of right and wrong, which teaches to establish the one and prevent,
punish or redress the other; which employs in its theory the noblest faculties
of the soul, and exerts in its practice the cardinal virtues of the heart, a
science which is universal in its use and extent, accommodated to each
individual, yet comprehending the whole community." It is no wonder, then,
that lawyers through the ages in all countries have enjoyed esteem and respect
as pillars of justice, as preservers of the weak and poor against oppressors
and tyrants, as upholders of the freedom and liberty of human beings, as a
sword for the guilty and a shield for the innocent.
Therefore, we have no doubt in our mind that this qualification of legal
practice for a minimum three years is a must for recruitment in the lowest rung
of judicial office.
The Kerala Judicial Service Rules, 1991 came into force from 1-1-1992. Rule 5 of the said rules is as under :
(1) Appointment to a category specified in column (1) below shall be made by
the method of appointment specified against that category in column (2) :
Category Method of appointment
------------------------------------------------------------ (1) (2)
------------------------------------------------------------ 1 . Subordinate
Judges/ Promotion from Category 2 Chief Judicial Magistrates
Direct recruitment and transfer in the manner sub- rule (3) of this Rule
----------------------------------------------------------- (2) Promotion to
Category I shall be made from a select list prepared by the High Court from among
the eligible officers on the basis of merit and ability. Merit and ability
shall be assessed with reference to the entries in the personal files relating
to the officers, penalties, if any, imposed on them, their performance as
Judicial Officers and other relevant considerations. Seniority shall be the
criterion only if merit and ability are found to be approximately equal.
superseded shall be informed of their supersession with reasons therefor. They
shall be considered for promotion against after the expiry of six months.
Out of every four vacancies arising in category 2, the first, second and the
third shall be filled or reserved to be filled by direct recruitment and the
fourth by recruitment by transfer from among the following categories :
Assistant Public Prosecutors Grade-1 Assistant Public Prosecutors Grade-II (ii)
Assistant Registrars, Private Secretary to the Chief Justice and other officers
of the High Court in the same scale of pay of Assistant Registrars, Personal
Assistant to the Chief Justice, Additional Personal Assistant to the Chief
Justice, Section Officers, Librarian, Reference Librarian, Court Officers,
Court Fee Examiners, Accountant, 319 Head Translator and Selection Grade
Shorthand Writers in the High Court of Kerala.
Under Secretaries, Section Officers and Librarian in the Advocate General's
Section Officers and Librarian in the Law Department, Government Secretariat.
of District Courts, Additional District Courts, Special Courts, th e office of
the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunals, the office of the State Transport
Appellate Tribunal and sub-courts, Head Clerks of the District Courts and
Additional District Courts and Selection Grade Confidential Assistants in the
Subordinate Civil Courts.
of Chief Judicial Magistrate's Courts and Selection Grade Confidential
Assistants in the Subordinate Criminal Courts.
Full-time Lecturers of Government Law Colleges.
Law Graduates working in the High Court, Subordinate Courts, Advocate General's
Office and Law Department in the Government Secretariat, not covered by
categories (i) to (vii) not less than ten years of total service in any one of
the three offices or in the three offices taken together, of which not less
than two years of service shall be after the acquisition of the law
Explanation.- A person who is otherwise qualified
for appointment but is not holding any of the posts enumerated in items (ii) to
(viii) of this sub-rule at the time of his application, shall be eligible for
appointment, if he has held any one or more of such posts at any time for the
prescribed number of years and is holding a post in a higher scale of pay in
any of the offices from which appointment is to be made."
Under sub-rule (3) of Rule 5 recruitment by transfer is contemplated bearing
the first category of officers namely Assistant Public Prosecutor Grade-1 and
Assistant Public Prosecutor Grade-II. Those officers belonging to Categories
11-VIII do not have minimum practice of three years at the Bar. Whether
Assistant Public Prosecutor Grades-1 and II failing under Category 1 are
eligible for recruitment to the lower rung in judicial service, in that, they
have three years' practice at Bar, need not be decided in this review petition.
That question is left over.
All India Judges' Assn.2 (review) this Court
has clearly laid down the principle of minimum practice of three years. If the
rules prescribe for a longer standing in the Bar that does not, in any way, run
counter to our judgment.
open to the State of Kerala to prescribe a higher qualification
as five years' standing at the Bar. In the instant case, the rule prescribing
five years' standing reads as follows 320 " 10. (1) No Advocate shall be
eligible for appointment to category 2 unless he is having practice at the Bar
for a period of not less than five years and has not completed 35 years of age
on the first day of January of the year in which applications for appointment
are invited." (Rest omitted as unnecessary) It is hereby clarified this
requirement of three years' minimum practice must be held to have come into
force from 24-8-1993.
Subject to the above observations IA Nos. 14-16 of 1994 are dismissed.