18 ,April 2022
To be associated with the Indian Judicial System is a combination of mixed emotions of responsibility, discipline, pride, honor and contentment. T o be a judge it is not enough just to be a law graduate but a lot more efforts, training and dedication is required to be a competent judge. In this article we will discuss the qualification, eligibility, and duties etc to become a judge in India. There are a lot of categories and sub-categories of judges in India like Supreme Court Judge, High Court Judge, District Court Judge, Additional Court Judge, Civil Judge, Joint District Judge and a lot more. For a clearer picture refer to the chart below.
Candidates from any stream, be it arts, science, commerce or humanities in class 12th are eligible to initiate their legal careers. Candidates willing to become a judge after 12th need to enroll themselves for 5 years integrated law courses like B.A.LL.B. , B.Com.LL.B. , B.B.A.LL.B etc. although it is advisable to opt for BALLB if you wish to pursue your career in judiciary as pre law subjects in BALLB like History, sociology, English helps the candidate in further preparation for judiciary. However it is not mandatory to complete 5 year course only, graduate students can also enroll themselves for 3 years LLB. Upon completion of respective 5 year and 3 year LLB courses the candidate is eligible to appear for the Judicial Services Examination or Provincial Civil Service- Judicial Examination. Candidates who have a valid law degree from a recognized university or are an Advocate enrolled under the Advocate Act 1961 are eligible to apply.
If a candidate wishes to become a judge in the Indian Judicial Services he is required to take the Judicial Service Examination or PCS(J) Provincial Civil Service- Judicial Examination. Candidates who have just completed Law degree are eligible to become the judge of subordinate courts only after appearing for this exam. Once the Candidate clears this exam there are further two types of examinations- Lower Judicial Services (LJS) and Higher Judicial Services (HJS).
The Candidate must be a Citizen of India.
Must have an integrated 5 year or 3 year after graduation LLB degree or LLM degree (optional).
Fluency in local/ regional language (in some states)
It is pertinent to note that the age limit of Lower Judicial Services Examination differs from state to state however the lower limit is 21 years and the upper limit is usually set at 35 for general candidates and relaxation is given to candidates falling under SC/ST/OBC categories.
To be eligible to become a district judge candidates have to appear for the Higher Judicial Services. Civil Judges, Advocates willing to become District judge after enrolling with Bar Council of India,
Any law graduate having enrolled with Bar Counsel of India and having experience of more than 7 years as an advocate is eligible to appear for the Higher Judicial Services.
The age limit set for the Higher Judicial Services Examination is 35 years however it fluctuates in some states.
By now you are well versed with how to become a judge till District level. Beyond this is High Court Judge and Supreme Court Judge, let us now discuss the same.
Salary of District Court Judge
The Salary of a district court judge is 24000/- (approximately) but he receives a lot of allowances like House Rent Allowance, Dearness Allowance, Travel Allowance, Partial Vehicle Allowance, Pension after Retirement
The judges of the High Court are appointed by the President of India in consultation with the Chief Justice. If the High court covers the jurisdiction of two or more states then along with the president and Chief justice, the governors of the respective states are also consulted before appointment of such High Court Judges.
Salary of High Court Judge- A high court judge earns up to Rs. 2, 25,000/- per month plus hospitality allowances up to Rs. 27,000/-. However this might differ from state to state.
Salary of Supreme Court Judge- a Supreme Court judge earns upto Rs. 2, 50,000/- per month plus hospitality allowances upto Rs. 34,000/-.
The final and most prestigious judge is the Chief Justice of India. The president of India appoints the Chief Justice of India.
It is rightly said that with great power comes great responsibilities. The prestige associated with being a judge is undoubtedly flattering with becoming a judge is not a one day job; there is a lot of hard work, determination, will and right guidance that goes into making and shaping a glorious legal career. For students who have just passed class12th it is advisable that they take the first step by choosing the right law college after doing enough research on the basis of past records of judges from the particular college and special training and skill development provided to students willing to take up judiciary as the career, as this is the most important phase in building the future. There are ample colleges providing judiciary training along with the 5 year integrated course or 3 year LLB.