Report No. 116
5.13. Term No. 5 of the Terms of Reference in the context of studying judicial reforms requires the Law Commission to prescribe a course of training for judicial officers. The Law Commission hopes to submit, closely following this report, a detailed report on the question of training of judicial officers both for pre-service and in-service training. Therefore, the present outline for the training of judicial officers indicated here has to be read in conjunction with detailed report that is being submitted to the Government. In the meantime, the Government of India, Ministry of Law and Justice, has forwarded to the Law Commission a blueprint for the establishment of an academy for the training of judicial officers prepared by the Chief Justice of India for its consideration and views. That aspect is also being dealt within the report herein indicated.
Way back in 1958, the Law Commission, after quoting with approval, an observation of the Civil Justice Committee, observe1 that in order to remove the undesirable tendency of a munsif being overawed by his munasarim or reader, it is necessary to provide for pre-service training to the new entrants to the Service. The broad feature of the scheme for training of judicial officers must enable the probationer to familiarise himself with: (a) actual trial work-civil and criminal, (b) revenue work, (c) conduct of cases, and (d) administrative work. They should be put in charge of a senior District and Sessions Judge whose duty would be to guide them during the period of training and report on their working2. The Law Commission, about two decades after, in 1978, reiterated that the judicial officers have to face all kinds of situations in courts, including difficulties created by obstructionist and cantankerous litigants and over-bearing and aggressive counsel.
To enable them to meet such situations and equip them properly for the discharge of the responsibilities, it is essential that there should be a course of training for all judicial officers before they start functioning as judicial officers.3 The pattern and period of training was devised bearing in mind that the recruitment even at the grassroot level from the Bar requires a minimum three years' standing at the Bar. While recommending constitution of Indian Judicial Service, a bold step is taken to make a total departure from the earlier view that a minimum practice at the Bar is a pre-requisite to become a judicial officer. To the extent that a fresh law graduate, after qualifying at the competitive examination, would enter judicial service, the importance of pre-service training, both as to pattern, subject and duration, has been considerably increased.
This training must be for a minimum period of two years, one of which will be spent in the academy to be set up for the purpose and another year to be spent by sitting in the court with munsif/civil judge (junior division)-cum-judicial magistrate, first class for a period of three months, civil judge (senior division) for a period of three months, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate for a period of six weeks, chief judge, small causes court for a period of six weeks and last three months to be spent at the administrative headquarters of the district court under the direct supervision of the District and Sessions Judge.
The curricula and the detailed heads of training with the aid of case method system for a period of one year at the academy will bo set out in the report just to follow. It is equally necessary to provide for in-service training at an interval of five years for a period of three to six weeks. The justification for the same will also be offered in the proposed report. To set out the same here would be mere duplication. In order to ascertain that the trainee has taken full advantage of the training period during which he will get the minimum of the junior scale, a departmental examination to be held by the National Judicial Service Commission will have to be cleared by him.
1. Law Commission of India, Fourteenth Report, Vol. I, Chapter IX, para. 42.
2. Law Commission of India, Fourteenth Report, Vol. I, Chapter IX, para. 44.
3. Law Commission of India, Seventy-seventh Report, Chapter XIII, para. 13.2.