The plan of establishing an all-India service for judicial officers is hanging fire since the 1960s with some states opposing the idea on various grounds.
    
There are also differences between the state governments and respective high courts.
    
The All-India Conference of Chief Justices of High Courts and Chief Ministers will meet in the middle of April where the issue is likely to come up for discussion.
    
The creation of All-India Judicial Services has been part of the agenda of the conference in 2013 too but this time the issue assumes importance as it would be the first meeting to be convened after the Narendra Modi government came to power last year.
    
In November, 2012 a Committee of Secretaries chaired by the Cabinet Secretary had approved a "comprehensive proposal" for creation of the service. It was included as an agenda in the 2013 conference which decided that the issue needs more deliberation and consideration.
    
So far, 15 states and 18 high courts (out of 24) have responded to the 2012 proposal.
    
"...divergence of opinion among the state governments and the high courts on constitution of All India Judicial Services still persists," Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda had informed the Rajya Sabha on Friday in a written reply.
    
One of the problems cited is that since several states have used powers under CrPC and CPC to declare that the local language would be used in lower courts even for writing orders, a person say selected from Tamil Nadu may find it
difficult to hold proceedings in states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
    
The other point of opposition is that an all India service may hamper the career progression of state judicial services officers.
    
The Centre's plan to create a national-level judicial service, on the pattern of the All-India Civil Services, got a push as at least two recommendations of the Law Commission and a department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on
Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice have supported the idea.
    
In its 15th report, tabled in May, 2006, the standing committee had asked the Law Ministry to expedite steps to set up all-India judicial services to appoint district-level judges.
    
As of now, while most government departments have all-India service recruits, selected after the all-India competitive examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year, judiciary is perhaps the only set-up that doesn't have an all-India selection process.
    
Almost all states have their own state-level judicial services, with successful candidates constituting the bulk of the subordinate judiciary.

Latest News from India News Desk