Civil Judge Selection Process – Step By Step Guide

Many people in India still find the study of law to be a highly desirable course of study and career path. Many people who want to practice law hope to experience the prestige that comes with working in the Indian judiciary because it is such an “honorable” feeling. But who exactly is a judge? And how does one become one? What tests must one pass to advance to the position of judge in the Indian judiciary? A judge renders judgments on legal issues and cases in the interest of justice. They primarily serve as mediators between the parties involved in legal disputes.

Obtaining a Bachelor of Laws, LLB Degree is the first requirement for becoming a judge. The degree program can now be completed in three or five years. Pursuing a Master in Law or LLM after earning an LLB is optional for law students.

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India’s judiciary is divided into three main divisions: district judges, high court judges, and supreme court judges. Judges can be found in a variety of subcategories under the final category of the district judge, including civil court judge, additional district judge, joint district judge, etc.

Judicial Services Examination

A candidate must take the PCS (J)-Provincial Civil Service-Judicial Examination to be considered for a position as a judge in the Indian Judicial Services. Law graduates must pass the PCS-J exam to join the subordinate judiciary as practicing members.

Only through passing this exam are recent law school grads eligible to sit as a judge on the Subordinate Court. as soon as you pass this test. Judicial Services Examinations are available in two different formats:

  • Lower Judicial Services (LJS)
  • Higher Judicial Services (HJS)

The same three recruitment steps are used for both of these exams, and they are as follows:

  • Preliminary exam – In the preliminary exam, candidates are presented with questions in the MCQ format that is objective. For general categories, a passing score of 60% is required, and for reserved categories, a score of 55%.
  • Mains Exam – Candidates take one or more written exams with subjective-style questions and answers for the main test. Candidates are called for the next stage if they receive 40% on each subjective paper and 50% overall.
  • Viva Voice – Qualified applicants for the Viva Voice audition show up for an interview with the hiring committee.

Lower Judicial Services (LJS)

To appoint Civil Judges in various state courts, LJS Exams are held. These tests are given either by the High Court or the state public service commission in question.

Eligibility: Candidates must have earned a 5-year Integrated LLB degree or a 3-year LLB degree course to be eligible. While having a bachelor’s degree in law is required in every state, many also have primary requirements based on proficiency in the local tongue of the state you desire to practice law in.

Age Restriction: The Lower Judicial Services Exam requires applicants to be at least 21 years old. Usually, a 35-year-old maximum age is imposed. Per the government’s established guidelines, candidates who fall under the OBC, SC, ST, or PWD categories are accommodated. Those who want to practice law should be aware that each state has a different age restriction.

Exam syllabus: The commissions’ websites, where the exams are being administered, have the exam schedule posted there. The local laws of the area as well as legal topics like the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Civil Law, Constitutional Law, Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), Property Law, etc. The state’s native tongue is also tested, along with English, general knowledge, and current events.

Read More: Civil Judge Eligibility Criteria

Higher Judicial Services (HJS)

For the promotion of Civil Judges to the position of District Judge or for the appointment of Advocates as District Judges, HJS Exams are typically held. Upon passing the All India Bar Exam, attorneys become advocates and are registered with the State Bar Council.

Eligibility: Candidates must be attorneys and must have worked in a court of law for a minimum of seven years in a row. Ideally, they should have worked there longer. Again, each state has its requirements.

Age Restrictions: The broad range is 35 to 45 years old. State-to-state differences exist in the minimum and maximum ages.

Exam Syllabus: Higher Judiciary Services Exam’s syllabus is comparable to that of the previously stated LJS Exam. However, there is a benefit to applying for the HJS since, if chosen, the candidate will be posted as a second district judge, which will boost and speed up the candidate’s chances of advancing to the position of judge.

Alternative Ways to Become a Civil Judge

Without taking an exam, it is possible to become a judge. One must keep in mind, though, that this is accomplished by a very unusual phenomenon known as “Elevation.” Senior advocates are chosen in this procedure by the Collegium of Judges. These experienced attorneys are frequently appointed without having to take a competitive exam at the High Courts or Supreme Court of India.

For direct hiring as a civil judge, these are the alternate procedures.

  • There is yet another route you can go to become a civil judge, and that is by applying directly.
  • Only applicants employed in the Indian judiciary are eligible for direct recruitment.
  • Candidates for the civil judge post-examination must have worked for the previous five years to be eligible.
  • Only internal applications will be accepted, and candidates must also pass a written test and an interview to be considered for employment.
  • Based on their prior performance, present score, and a round of personal interviews, they will be chosen.

Read More: Civil Judge Powers – Roles And Responsibilities

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):

Q: Who is eligible to serve as a civil judge?

A: A person may apply to be a judge if they fit one of the following categories:

  • An attorney, lawyer, or politician
  • Recent law school grads
  • The High Court's ministerial staff
  • Employees who are employed in the government's Law and Judiciary Department as legal assistants or higher.
  • Officials who work in government offices as ministerial staff..

Q: What qualifications must a person meet to receive higher judicial services?

A: Candidates must meet the following criteria to appear for the civil judge exam:The minimum and maximum ages for candidates should be 35 and 45, respectively.

  • A person should have Indian citizenship.
  • As of the first day of January 2020, the applicant must be an advocate with a minimum of seven years of experience.
  • By the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Civil Appeal No. 561 of 2013, Deepak Agarwal vs. Keshav Kaushik & Others, prosecuting officers, and assistant prosecuting officers are also treated as attorneys and are qualified.

Q: After graduating from high school, how do I become a civil judge?

A: After graduating from high school, you must pursue a 3 or 5-year law degree, pass the JSE, or apply to any private law institution before you can become a civil judge.

Q: After earning an LLB, how do I become a civil judge?

A: After earning an LLB, one has two options: apply for the JSE or pursue an LLM before applying to a law school to become a civil judge.

Q: The judicial services examination is what?

A: The Judicial Services Examination, also known as the PCS (J)-Provincial Civil Service-Judicial Examination, is the first exam taken by law graduates who want to join the subordinate judiciary. Members of the lower judiciary were appointed by the state governments under the supervision of the respective high courts based on a competitive examination.

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