To become a Judge in India, one has to qualify for the Judicial Services Examination or the PCS (J)-Provincial Civil Service-Judicial Examination which is held every year by the Public Service Commission of each Indian state. For appearing in this exam, one must hold a law degree from a reputed college or university and must have registered as an advocate with the association in the state bar council. However, the age limit for appearing in the exam may vary from state to state.
Judicial Services Examination
Indian Judicial Services Examinations is conducted mainly in three phases i.e. Preliminary Examination, Mains Examinations and Viva-Voce (Personal Interview). The preliminary exam consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQ’s) and is conducted only to select the right candidates for the main examination. The marks scored by the aspirants in the preliminary examinations are not considered for the final or last selection. The main exam comprises subjective (written) type questions. It contains three to four papers. Here, the marks earned by candidates are counted for the final selection. Viva-Voce (Personal Interview) is known as the final phase of shortlisting the ideal candidates based on their personality, behaviour, interest, intelligence quotient, etc.
The minimum passing marks in the first stage i.e. preliminary examination of Judicial Services Examinations is 60 per cent for general categories and 55 per cent for reserved categories like - Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Physically Handicapped. The students who score 40 per cent in each subjective paper and 50 per cent in total will be called for a personal interview or viva voce.
In many of the Indian states, the District and Sessions Judges are being selected through competitive examination managed and directed by the state commission. Also, the judges are recruited through promotions from those in service and chosen from the practising lawyers. The aspirants who have successfully cleared the Indian Judicial Service Examination are suitable and eligible for the title of a ‘’Judge”.
Appointment of Judges
The Indian Constitution is divided into three main judicial systems namely, the Supreme Court of India, The High Courts in the Indian States and the District Courts. So, each judicial systems or the courts have their own set of eligibility conditions which are mentioned below:
Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India is the uppermost judicial panel and the highest court of India under the constitution of India. The Supreme Court of India consist of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and 34 other Judges and they are chosen by the President of India. Chief Justice is the highest-ranking and the most senior judge in the Supreme Court of India.
To be chosen as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India, an individual must:
- be a citizen of India.
- have been a Judge in a high court of India for at least 5 years.
- have been an advocate of a high court for at least 10 years.
High Courts of India
Each and Every judge in a High Courts of India are selected by the President of India in conversation with the Chief Justice of India (CJI), the Governor of the state and the Chief Justice of the High Court.
To be qualified to become a Judge in the High Courts of India, an individual must be:
- a citizen of India.
- should have worked in a Judicial Office in India for 10 years.
- has experience of 10 years practice, as an advocate in a High Court.
Each Indian state is separated into judicial districts which are controlled by a District and Sessions Judge. The judges of district courts are elected by the Governor after discussion with the Chief Justice of the High Court of the State.
To become a district judge, a candidate must have:
- cleared the exam conducted by the state public service commission.
- a minimum of 7 years of experience as an advocate.
Skills and Qualities needed to become a Judge
An ideal judge should work for the development and growth of the nation. He/she should have an outstanding spirit and be able to work hard under the pressure. They should have excellent public speaking, logical reasoning, quick decision making and debating skills to analyse the in-depth cases and provide a reasonable decision. They should possess personal skills like – honesty, commitment, self-confidence, etc.