All-India Judicial Services Exam: According to the latest reports, the Government of India is preparing to set up the All-India Judicial Service, or AIJS by the month of March 2022. This is in accordance with a proposal that the Law ministry submitted to the Union Council of Ministers. Moreover, it is important to note that the Centre will be moving ahead with this plan in spite of the opposition that many state governments, as well as high courts, have posited in front of it.
According to sources, the Law Ministry has come upon a decision to complete the entire consultation process. This process of consultation will be carried out with the state governments, the high courts as well as the Supreme Court by the end of this year. Therefore, all issues related to the All-India Judicial Services could most likely be settled by March 2022.
The first instances of the AIJS:
The Law Commission Report No.-116, of the year 1986, had made recommendations regarding the setting up of the AIJS, or the All India Judicial Service. In fact, even before this, the Law Commission had recommended the AIJS in its 14th report, which was published in the year 1958. However, since then, the states, along with the High Courts, have remained divided and undecided on this issue.
The history of the All India Judicial Service:
After it was amended in the year 1976, Article 312 went on to provide that if the Council of States declares a resolution which has the support of at least two-thirds of the members present, may allow the Parliament to create one or more All India Judicial Service common to the Union and the States.
In 1995, in the All India Judges Association vs. the Union of India case, the Supreme Court directed the Union Government to take immediate measures in order to set up the All India Judicial Service.
However, in 2015, the All India Judges Association filed a petition inter alia, seeking to direct the Centre to check the feasibility of this service. The petition has since remained pending in the Supreme Court.
Oppositions to the AIJS:
The High Courts of Haryana as well as Sikkim, along with the state governments of Haryana, Sikkim, Mizoram and Tripura have remained in favour of the constitution of the AIJS. However, those of the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh have reportedly been opposed to this.
Five other states suggested changes to be made to the AIJS. In this regard, Bihar was seeking major revisions while Chhattisgarh demanded that only 15 per cent of the vacancies of additional district judges should be filled through AIJS. Additionally, the states of Manipur, Orissa and Uttarakhand also sought some changes.
As of now, the governments of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Jharkhand are yet to respond to this proposal.
Where the High Courts are concerned, those of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Manipur, Bihar, Haryana, Assam and Punjab are not in the favour of AIJS. The Calcutta High Court has made no response to it, while the High Courts of Rajasthan and Jharkhand are still examining the plan. The Allahabad High Court wants changes related to age and qualification.