Report No. 117
2.4. The need to impart training, both pre-service and in-service, has been felt for a long time and has been nationally neglected so far, with the rather disastrous consequences to development and justice.3 Inefficiency, inexperience or inadequacy of knowledge of the judicial personnel had come to surface way back in the early fiftees. Training course for judicial officers was considered imperative to improve their efficiency. Some kind of training has been in vogue, the period varying from three months to two years. Topics for training were: the practical experience in the trial work in civil and criminal matters, in some cases in revenue work and administrative work.4 The approach at that time was that the training must be confined to equip the judge to handle day-to-day cases and effectively manage his office.
This narrow view with regard to training remained in vogue for a long time. The Eighth Law Commission, while dealing with the question of delay and arrears in trial courts, expressed an opinion that the training course lasting for a period of three to six months for recruits to subordinate judiciary must be provided. Such period was to be utilised for giving intensive training to the judicial officers by competent and experienced members of the Bar, the stress in such course being to acquaint the recruits with procedural requirements for dealing with different stages of cases. The training, it was suggested, must be directed to inform the new entrant as to how to record statements of parties before framing issues, how to frame issues and how thereafter to record evidence and write judgments.
Training may as well be imparted in the art of writing interlocutory orders. They may be familiarised with different stages of execution proceedings and they may be taught how to dispose of matters at each of those stages.5 The 1983 conference of the Chief Justices of High Courts adopted a resolution requesting the Government to set up regional training institutes for members of subordinate judiciary in four zones of the country where eminent professors, lawyers, judges and jurists could be invited to deliver lectures on various legal and other important subjects. A fresh approach indicating the width and content of training that was to be imparted to the members of the judiciary was clearly spelt out.
1. Hideo Tanaka (Edited) The Japanese Legal System, Ch. 6, section 2, pp. 554 to 556.
2. Id. at section 4, p. 566.
3. Blueprint forwarded by Chief Justice of India to Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India.
4. LCI, Fourteenth Report, Vol. I, Ch. IX, paras. 42-46.
5. LCI, Seventy-seventh Report, Ch. IX, para. 9.8
2.5. Pursuant to this resolution, the Government of India in the Department of Justice collected information from State Governments and Union Territories as regards the existing training facilities for judicial officers available in each State with a view to examining the feasibility of setting up of regional training institutes. The information collected is tabulated and annexed hereto as Appendix I will show at a glance the existing facilities available in each State for imparting training to judicial officers. Gleaning through the information, it transpires that institutional training at present is being imparted only at the North-Eastern Judicial Officers Training Institute at Guwahati and Andhra Pradesh State Judicial Academy of Administration at Secunderabad. Broadly stated, the judicial officers taking training in these Institutes have the benefit of a short-term pre-service training in the conduct of proceedings in the court and allied matters as also the management of office.
No refresher course is being held at these Institutes with the result that the training begins and ends at the pre-service level and it is of a short duration. There is an Administrative Training Institute set up at Nainital by the Uttar Pradesh Government where pre-service training is imparted to judicial officers extending over a period of six to eight weeks. The relevant rules adopted by the State of Orissa provide for an elaborate training programme. In the rest of the country, fresh recruits to judicial service are given a semblance of training by being directed to work with senior civil judges and/or district or sessions judges for an average duration of three to six months before actual posting is given.
2.6. The most glaring omission in the existing training schemes is that they do not provide for in-service training or refresher courses, save and except a few selected individuals being deputed to attend training course on "crime and justice and criminology" conducted by the Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science, New Delhi, and some others are deputed to participate in the course "Administration of criminal justice" conducted by the Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi. The duration of these courses varies from one week to three weeks. Another lacuna in the present day schemes is emphasis only on giving practical training by observation in courts on how to conduct cases.
This system has an in-built disadvantage of sustaining the past practice without any change or without any effort to tone it to the mores of the day. The basic aim of training briefly spelt out is to equip the trainees not only with tools to execute their work, but to endow them with vision as to what is expected of the system which they serve. What is meant by justice? What is decision making process? What are the goals of the Constitution? What is the direction in which law must move? What does the dictum justice according to law imply? And a horde of other questions must confront the authority in charge of the new in-coming judges.
2.7. Are these facilities adequate enough to impart requisite training, both pre-service and in-service, to judicial officers? Inadequacy of these training facilities stare into our face. If is not the opinion of the Law Commission but it is the opinion of all concerned. In August-September, 1985, the Chief Justice of India and the Ministry of Law and Justice jointly convened for the first time in the history of India a joint Conference of Chief Justices of High Courts, Chief Ministers and Law Ministers of all States to debate what ails the present justice delivery system and, after diagnosing the disease, to sort out and prescribe the remedies.
The question of imparting training to judicial officers was in the forefront. It was unanimously resolved at this Conference that there should be an . institute or academy for the training of judicial officers to be set up by the Central. Government with the Chief Justice of India as Chairman. A governing body under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of India should be set up to be in charge of the administration of the institute or academy. The governing body was to devise a whole scheme of pre and in-service training for judicial officers as also to specify places where branches of the institute or academy should be set up.
In fact the expectation was that the governing body will devise the structure of academy, the selection of entrants to the academy, faculty, syllabi and all other aspects relevant to the efficient functioning of the institute or academy. Thereafter, the Law Commission was requested as part of recommending overall judicial reform to study the advisability, need and operational requirement for imparting training to members of judiciary. The Commission set in motion its own enquiry.
2.8. Pursuant to the aforementioned resolution, the Chief Justice of India prepared and sent a blueprint for the establishment of an academy for the training of judicial officers. The Minister of State for Law and Justice forwarded a copy of the blueprint to the Law Commission for its consideration. As this report exclusively deals with the question of imparting training to judicial officers at every level, the blueprint of the Chief Justice of India would be carefully considered with respect it is entitled to in the course of this report.
As has been the practice, the Law Commission, with a view to adequately informing itself of various currents and cross-currents relevant to the topic under examination, addressed detailed letters to the Chief Justice of India, all Judges of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice of each High Court and all Judges of the High Courts requesting them, inter alia, to give us the benefit of their detailed views on various topics relevant to judicial reforms, one such being training of judicial officers. As the question of training pertains to the field of expert academics, the Commission also wrote detailed letters to the principal of every law college in the country with a request to bring the letter to the notice of the professors working with him, to the Deans of Law Faculty of every university as also to bodies like Indian Law Institute, Indian Institute of Public Administration and Director, Administrative Staff College, Hyderabad.
Bar Council of India claims that it has sole responsibility for legal education and allied subjects. Accordingly, the Commission also wrote detailed letters to the Chairman of the Bar Council of India and Chairmen of various State Bar Councils requesting them to accord benefit of their views to the Commission on all topics relevant to judicial reforms, specifically including therein training of judicial officers. Chairman of All-India Bar Council did not extend the courtesy of acknowledging the letter and wholly ignored it. The response from State Bar Councils was wholly inadequate. The Commission also invited information and views of the Supreme Court Bar Association and such other bodies as also organisations of judicial officers. All others responded with enthusiasm. A fair measure of the cross-country opinion is available to the Commission.
2.9. The Commission was informed that as a sequel to the resolution of the Joint Conference of Chief Justices of High Courts, Chief Ministers and Law Ministers of States, the officers of the Department of Justice, Government of India, drew up a tentative scheme of training for our consideration. The commission called for the proposed scheme drawn up by the Department of Justice. A skeleton scheme appears to have been drawn up. It is in fact a brief outline of what ought to be the approach to the question of training of judicial officers. The Department of Justice probably was unaware of the fact that the Law Commission dealing with recommending comprehensive judicial reforms would engage itself in examining the feasibility and advisability of setting up an all-India Judicial Service, to be styled as Indian Judicial Service.
The Law Commission has submitted a comprehensive report recommending setting up of Indian Judicial Service to which there would be recruitment from fresh law graduates on the result of a competitive examination.1 The hitherto accepted norm of some minimum practice at the Bar as an essential qualification for entry in judicial service at any stage has been given a go-bye for very valid and vital reasons. Once the recommendation as to setting up of Indian Judicial Service is translated into action and in reality the service is set up, the whole gamut of imparting training would acquire a new dimension.
The note proceeds on the assumption that both pre and in-service training will have to be imparted to such recruits to judicial service who have had some minimum stint at the Bar. The assumption would no more be valid. Therefore, even though the scheme may be examined for whatever it is worth, a de novo approach to the problem is necessitous.
1. LIC, One Hundred and Sixteenth Report.
2.10. The scheme in its bare outline deals with institutional and in-service training. Without specifying the period, it has been suggested that the existing institutional facilities for imparting training to the officers recruited to the State Civil Executive Service and State Police Service should be utilised to in part training to the recruits to the judicial service after suitably augmenting the existing facilities to meet the needs of the judicial service. The scheme further provides that the period of training for recruits to judicial service must be the same as for the recruits to executive and police service. The subjects for pre-service training include:
(1) salient features of the Constitution of India;
(2) Civil Law, criminal law and labour law;
(3) local laws;
(4) law relating to police excesses and customs and other economic offences;
(5) law relating to conditions of service of employment;
(6) nyaya panchayats, etc.;
(7) relations with police and civil executive officers;
(8) problems of Scheduled Castes/Tribes, other Backward Communities and weaker sections family disputes;
(9) jail administration;
(10) aspects to be taken care of by presiding officers of subordinate courts, with a view to minimising delay in disposal of cases and reducing arrears in courts: and of writing judgments;
(11) historical development of legal and judicial system in India; and
(12) cultural and social conditions and their impact on legal and judicial administration.
The scheme also provides for refresher courses of short duratidn for judicial officers having put in eight to ten years of service. The refresher courses according to the scheme must include:
(1) amendment of the Constitution and the civil, criminal and other laws in the last 10 to 15 years;
(2) case law-decisions of the Supreme Court/High Courts;
(3) new developments in the field of economic laws and constitutional law;
(4) modern practices of office management', including documentation and storage of judicial records;
(5) modern jail administration;
(6) measures to expedite disposal of cases in courts and reduce arrears; and
(7) problems of Scheduled Castes and Tribes, other Backward Communities and weaker sections, family disputes.
After quoting resolution adopted at the 1985 meeting hereinbefore referred to the framers of the scheme frown upon establishment of new regional training institutes as it would involve considerable expenditure and would, therefore, suggest feasibility of expanding the existing institutional arrangements available in the State of Andhra Pradesh and one set up at Gauhati by the Governments of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland. It further refers to the possibility of providing facilities for refresher courses at Indian Law Institute, Delhi. This is the brief outline of the scheme.