Why BCI wants the Judicial Magistrates to be well trained?
Anupam Prabhat Shrivastava
Law Student, Central University of South Bihar
Judiciary is considered as one of the pillars of the democracy in India, where it plays its vital role in administrating justice by interpreting and applying the relevant laws while deciding the disputes placed before it. Judiciary is the guardian of the human rights, protector of the Constitution, and promoter of peace and cordiality in India. People have vested their faith in the Indian Judicial System to uphold their rights in case of any arisen disputes. Judgments passed by the Judiciary are binding on all whether it may be citizens or government.
Despite the independence of the judiciary from the executive and legislative bodies, the Indian Judicial system faces a lot of problems. One such primary issue with Indian Judicial system is the pendency of cases, where over 3 crore cases are pending and are yet to get disposed of. The Bar Council of India, vide its Press Release dated 02.01.2021, expressed its concern over the inexperienced Judicial Officers being incapable and inept in handling matters which it states to be the one of the primary and major reasons for delay in the disposal of cases in the sub-ordinate judiciary. The Bar Council of India added,
“Presently, fresh law graduates are being allowed to sit for Judicial Service Examination throughout the territory of India without having any practical experience at the Bar. Judicial Officers not having practical experience at the Bar are mostly found to be incapable and inept in handling matters. Most of such officers are found impolite and impractical in their behavior with the Members of the Bar and Litigants. They have lack of understanding of the aspirations and expectations of Advocates and Litigants in the matter of proper and decent behavior. The inexperience at the Bar is one of the primary and major reasons for delays in the disposal of cases in the sub-ordinate Judiciary. Trained and experienced judicial officers can comprehend and dispose of matters at a much faster pace, thereby leading to efficient administration of justice.”
Further, through the same Press Release, the Bar Council of India and all State Bar Councils favoured a 3 year minimum experience at the Bar to be prescribed for being considered eligible to sit for a Judicial Service Exam. In regard to this, the Bar Council of India is filing an application before the Apex Court to seek the modification in the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the matter of All India Judges Association & others vs. Union of India where the requirement of 3 year experience at the Bar had been done away with by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India by passing an order dated 21.03.2002 in the same case.
The entire matter arose when the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission had invited applications vide notification bearing No.9/2020-RC dated 03.12.2020 for appointment of Civil Judges Junior Division in the AP State Judicial Services for Advocates having a minimum eligibility requirement of 3 years as practicing advocate. A Writ Petition (Civil) bearing No.1479/2020 has been filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India by the petitioner Mr. Regalagadda Venkatesh against the State of Andhra Pradesh wherein he has challenged the above referred notification on the ground that the requirement of 3 year experience at the Bar is illegal and unwarranted. Thus the Bar Council of India is filing another application to seek impleadment as a party in the said matter and shall plead in favour of the urgency and requirement to have a minimum 3 year experience at the Bar as a requirement to be eligible to sit in the Judicial Service Exam.
"The area, domain and nature of work in Judicial Services is very different from the nature of work of any other Government Services Job. Unlike UPSC, you cannot claim to lock yourself in a room for one year and clear the judicial services exam. Always, remember you have to decide the matters of life and death in one sentence, there is a need of practical experience in that.”
The pendency of the cases is one of the major issues being faced by the whole nation. There are over more than 3 crore pending cases in the sub-ordinate courts which is increasing day by day. This shows the inadequacy of the courts in granting justice to the victims. The appointed Judicial Officers are, generally, the fresh law graduates who do not have any practical experience at the Bar are mostly found to be impolite and impractical to the functioning of the Courts. They do not have any practical knowledge as how the Bar functions and what are the aspirations and expectations of the Advocates and the Litigants. These issues have failed the Indian Judiciary system in delivering the justice expeditiously.
On the other hand, the adding of the 3 years of experience at Bar as eligibility for entering into the judicial services would add qualities in the Judicial Services. The trained and experienced judicial officers could be able to comprehend and dispose of the matters at a much faster pace, thereby leading to efficient administration of justice. Moreover, it will lessen down the fallacies which is committed by the sub-ordinate courts while entertaining and deciding the disputes. This overburdens the Hon’ble Supreme Court and Hon’ble High Courts to rectify the fallacies committed by the sub-ordinate courts while passing the decree, orders or judgements in the disputes. Most of these fallacies are the outcome of not having the practical experience by the Judicial Officers.
The Press Release by the Bar Council of India is ray to hope that the Apex Court would allow the Bar Council of India to implead in the ongoing matter and would find the possible way towards the revolutionary step in reforming the Indian Judicial System.
(Views expressed are purely personal and Legal Angles does not take any responsibility of the views of the Author)