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Report No. 118

Eligibility Criteria

2.5. Entry into subordinate judiciary pre-supposes knowledge of law and the practical experience of the working of the Courts. Accordingly, eligibility criteria prescribing minimum requirements for being able to compete for entry into State Judicial Service can be examined under three separate principal requirements:-

(a) Academic Qualifications.-A degree in law obviously must be a necessary requirement by way of academic qualifications. Recruitment Rules of the States generally provide for the same, but there are some grey areas. Where appointment by transfer is permitted, it is not assured that the transferee has a degree in law. In some States, the requirement is stated as practice at the Bar for a certain period. This, however, ensures a degree in law because the Bar Council would not enroll anyone as an advocate unless he holds a degree in law recognised by the Bar Council of India.

(b) Age.-Recruitment Rules of most of the States provide for minimum and maximum age with relaxation in favour of weaker sections of society for recruitment to subordinate judiciary. It varies between 21 years to 45 years. There is also a distinction in the matter of age between direct recruits and recruits by transfer. Some States provide for the age group of 21-38 years for direct recruits while extending the upper age limit to 45 years in the matter of recruits by transfer.

Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu States do not provide for any minimum age. Variations in the matter of minimum age from State to State is referable to other requirements in the Recruitment Rules providing for practice for a certain period at the Bar. Longer the period of practice prescribed, the higher age follows as a matter of course.

(c) Experience.-As pointed out just hereinbefore, by and large, the duration of practice varies from one year to five years. However, we are not able to get authentic information from the State of Assam on the question whether the candidates who offer themselves for competitive examination held by the State Public Service Commission would require practice of any particular duration at the Bar as a pre-requisite for appearing at the examination.

Method of Appointments to Subordinate Courts, Subordinate Judiciary Back

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