Report No. 117
Duration of Training Course
4.4. What should be the length of training is not easy to answer? The period may vary for different categories of entrants to judicial service. The virtual indispensability of training is for that class of entrants to judicial service who would be fresh law graduates, recruited on the result of a competitive examination. Their exposure to law would be what they learnt in the law colleges. The academy atmosphere and the court atmosphere materially differ. Undoubtedly, innovative approaches such as, moot courts and case method system have to some extent helped the students in law colleges to have a glimpse into the working of the court system. However, this peripheral knowledge could hardly be said to be adequate for being effectively posted as a Judge. At any rate, the curriculum vitae in the law colleges do include procedural laws but not the art of advocacy, recording of evidence, decision-making process and writing of judgments.
Further, a day-to-day working in a courtroom requires a skill to handle the Bar, to effectively dispose of frivolous objections, the adjournment mania etc. Therefore, extensive training is a sine qua non for such fresh law graduates entering judicial service. In their case, the duration of institutional training should extend to a period of one year. We consider the suggestion in the blueprint of the Chief Justice of India that the foundation course duration for new entrants as direct recruits as District Judges and other judges should extend from 12 weeks to 18 weeks wholly inadequate.
A fresh law graduate in the age group of around 24 years should be exposed to intensive training in an academic environment by giving him instructions in various topics directly and indirectly connected with trial of causes and controversies not merely by acquainting him with processual stages but to bring to bear upon the subject, the wisdom, the sagacity, broad mindedness, catholicity of outlook, constitutional culture and the goals of justice system. Such extensive training cannot be compressed within a period of 12 to 18 weeks. Therefore, the Commission is of the firm opinion that for entrants to Indian Judicial Service on the result of a competitive examination from fresh law graduates, the institutional training must extend over a period of one year. While discussing the syllabus, the detailed heads of instruction would be pointed out.
4.5. An institutional training for a period of one year by itself would not develop the faculties of trainee to such an extent as to qualify him for conferment of power of adjudicating causes. A further practical training is absolutely a must. The court atmosphere, the trial of cases, the art of advocacy cannot be reproduced adequately in a moot court in the institution. Therefore, at the end of training for a period of one year, the fresh recruit to Indian Judicial Service should be given further training of a practical nature involving technique of applied law by first posting him as a super-numerary officer in the court of Munsif/Civil Judge/Judicial Magistrate First Class for a period of three months.
Thereafter, he must be posted in the same capacity and for the same duration in the court of Civil Judge, Senior Division or the Judge having unlimited pecuniary jurisdiction. He must then be posted for six weeks to sit with Metropolitan Magistrate and other six weeks with Judge, Small Causes Court. In the next three months, he must be attached to the court of District and Sessions Judge at the District Headquarters.
4.6. During the period of his attachment with various Courts, he must perform the obligatory duties of sitting with the Judge concerned. Throughout the working day, he must listen to all the cases being tried by the Principal Judge of the Court. If the evidence is being recorded, he must record for his own benefit the evidence. He must listen to all arguments. He must read all the case papers of the cases being heard in his presence in the court. At the conclusion of the trial after listening to the arguments, he must prepare his own judgment. This is the extensive training to which he must be exposed in all the courts to which he is attached for a period of one year.
All the judgments or orders written by him shall be submitted to the District Ji!dge who must, after calling for remarks from the concerned Principal Judge with\whom the supernumerary Judge was sitting, analytically examine the same and prepare his own comments. Thereafter, the person concerned should be called for personal discussion and the merits and demerits of his work should be brought to his attention. The District Judge should then submit a comprehensive report to the High Court who would forward it with its own remarks to the National Judicial Service Commission that the person concerned has adequately utilised the training facilities provided to him.
He must also clear a test at the end of a training period of two years. Thereafter, he must be given a substantive posting. Thus, the raw graduate, fresh from the law college, will have an extensive training for a period of two years, both institutional and practical, which it is hoped would adequately equip him to undertake the task of deciding causes and controversies at the lowest level of judicial service. This intensive training would adequately compensate for having no practice at the Bar before joining judicial service. The Law Commission is of the opinion that the two years intensive training would outweigh the advantage, if any, of three years practice at the Bar which often enough hardly helps in the matter of equipping oneself.
4.7. The next cadre for whom training facility must be provided is the one of promotees from State Judicial Service to Indian Judicial Service. They must be given institutional training for a period of 12 weeks. It is unnecessary to provide for them any practical training course because it is assumed that the promotees would have to be in active judicial service of seven years and over before being promoted to Indian Judicial Service. For them, in-service training as herein indicated, would be adequate.
4.8. It is a matter of regret for the Law Commission to more that while in all other disciplines workshops, seminars and symposia are held at regular intervals, the judges are hardly, if ever are exposed to it. In fact, the Law Commission has information which it considers reliable that there is some reluctance on the part of High Courts to permit the District Judges and Judges subordinate to it to participate in workshops and seminars. The Commission came across an incident which is worth referring here. In one of the Northern States, a body set up by the local Government and charged with a duty to expand legal aid service convened a workshop at a district level for setting up local legal aid body.
The workshop was presided over by a Judge of the High Court having jurisdiction in the State. Surprisingly, neither the District Judge, nor the Judges subordinate to the District Judge participated in the workshop. On an enquiry at the proper place, the information given was that the High Court does not favour exposure of judges in such seminars and workshops. The Law Commission found this closed-door non-exposure approach un-understandable. Therefore, over and above the in-service training for promotees to Indian Judicial Service, there should be regular refresher courses for each judge at the interval of 5 years.
Workshops, seminars and symposia may be held for discussing latest trends in the development of law, inter-disciplinary relations and expanding goals of justice system. It must be the obligatory duty of the High Court to make provision for convening such workshops, seminars and symposia for District Judges with the active participation of the Judges of the High Courts, teachers from the faculty of law and leading advocates. This is how comprehensive training is conceived for judicial service.