become a judge

Becoming a Judge in India

Becoming a judge or a magistrate in India is perhaps one of the most respected/coveted positions one could have dreamt of. In a Democratic country like ours, where the judiciary enjoys Independent status, becoming a judge is a position of responsibility and pride. The working and effectiveness of the judicial system depend on the functioning of the judges.

How to become a Judge (Magistrate) in India?

Step 1 –

The first requirement to become a judge in India is to possess an LL.B degree from any University/College recognized by the Bar Council of India. There are over thousands of law colleges/ department of law of various universities, law schools and law universities from where one can opt for either a 3-year LL.B degree or a 5-year integrated B.A./BBA/B.com/B.Sc LL.B degree. A 3-year LL.B degree can be pursued after graduation in any stream whereas, and a 5-year integrated course can be pursued straight after class 12.

Step 2 –

Once the LL.B degree is in hand, the graduate has to compete for the State Judicial Services Examination. This examination is held by respective State Governments from time to time. So, Delhi Government conducts the Delhi Judicial Services Examination, Government of West Bengal conducts the West Bengal Judicial Services Examination, etc. The examination consists of three stages – Preliminary, Mains, and Viva-Voice.

Who are eligible?

  1. Advocate, Attorney, Pleader
  2. Fresh Law Graduates
  3. Members of ministerial staff of the High Court
  4. Members of staff working as Legal Assistant or above in the legal sector of the Law and Judiciary Department in the Government.
  5. Members of Ministerial Staff of the Office of the Government.

1. Advocates, Attorneys, and Pleaders –

Eligibility –

The minimum age required to be eligible for the examination is 21 years, and the maximum age is 35 years.

Qualification –

The candidate must possess a degree in law (LL.B) and must have practiced as an Advocate, Attorney or a Pleader in the High Court or Courts of Subordinate Jurisdiction. The qualification, in this case, is different for the Supreme Court, High Courts, and District Courts.

For Supreme Court –

According to Article 124(2) of the Constitution of India, “Every Judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal after consultation with such of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts in the States as the President may deem necessary.” The Article also explains that in case of appointment of a judge other than the Chief Justice of India, the Chief Justice of India must also be consulted for this purpose.

Further, these qualifications are also necessary –

  • Citizenship of India; and
  • Has been a judge for at least five years in a High Court or of two or more High Courts in succession; or
  • Has been for at least an advocate for ten years of one or more than one High Courts in succession.; or
  • Is a distinguished jurist in the eyes of the President of India.

For High Court –

According to Article 217(1) of the Constitution of India, ” Every Judge of a High Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, the Governor of the State, and, in the case of appointment of a Judge other than the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of the High court.”

Further, according to Article 217(2), these qualifications are required –

  • Citizenship of India; and
  • Has held a judicial office in India for at least ten years; or
  • Has been for at least an advocate for ten years of one or more than one High Courts in succession.

For District and Sub-ordinate Courts –

According to Article 233(1) of the Constitution of India, “Appointments of persons to be, and the posting and promotion of, district judges in any State shall be made by the Governor of the State in consultation with the High Court exercising jurisdiction in relation to such State.”

Further, Article 233(2) mentions that the qualifications for appointment as District Judge as –

  • Should be a member of the judicial service of the State.
  • Any person who has had a minimum experience of seven years of practice as a lawyer at the bar.

2. For Fresh Law Graduates

Age – Not below 21 years and not above 35 years.

Qualification – Must have an LL.B degree bypassing all the examinations in its first attempt or, in the case of the candidate holding an LL.M degree in law in final year examination having not less than 55% marks.

3. Members of ministerial staff of the High Court

Age – Not below 21 years and not above 45 years.

4. Members of staff working as Legal Assistant or above in the legal sector of the Law and Judiciary Department in the Government.

Age – Not below 21 years and not above 45 years.

5. Members of Ministerial Staff of the Office of the Government.

Age – Not below 21 years and not above 45 years.

CONCLUSION

There are many ways of becoming a judge in India. These are for the ones in the following fields –

  1. Advocate, Attorney, Pleader
  2. Fresh Law Graduates
  3. Members of ministerial staff of the High Court
  4. Members of staff working as Legal Assistant or above in the legal sector of the Law and Judiciary Department in the Government.
  5. Members of Ministerial Staff of the Office of the Government.

The profession requires expertise in the field of law and to be able to understand the law from various angles. Knowledge of all fields of law is a pre-condition. The pay-scales of judges varies from position to position. The retirement age for a Supreme Court judge is fixed at 65 years whereas, for a High Court judge, it is fixed at 62 years.

 

Published by mayank barman

Hi! I am Mayank Barman and I'm a student of Department of Law, University of Calcutta. I'm extremely passionate about the law and I love to read, write and research. I strive for novelty and new experiences and perceive new ideologies.

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