- Apprentice Lawyer
The Bar Council of India (BCI) has moved the Supreme Court batting for 3-year experience at the Bar as an eligibility criterion to sit for judicial service examinations.
In an impleadment application filed before the top court, the regulator has stated that judicial officers not having practical experience at the Bar are mostly found to "be incapable and inept in handling matters" and it is also one of the primary reasons for delay in disposal of cases in lower courts. .
Presently, fresh law graduates are allowed to sit for judicial service examinations throughout India without having any practical experience at the Bar.
The impleadment application has been filed in a plea from Andhra Pradesh challenging the precondition of three years of practice as an advocate to be eligible to write the Civil Judge exam in the State.
A vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Aniruddha Bose had issued notice on the petition on December 30 but refused to stay Rule 5(2)(a)(i) of the Andhra Pradesh State Judicial Service Rules of 2007, which lays down the above condition in AP.
The Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission had issued a notification on December 3, 2020, inviting applications for appointment of Civil Judges Junior Division in the AP State Judicial Services but limiting it to those who had at least 3 years experience as a practicing advocate.
Petitioner Regalagadda Venkatesh has challenged the notification as being violative of the 2002 Supreme Court order in All India Judges Association & others v. Union of India
In that case, the Supreme Court had done away with the requirement of 3 year experience at the Bar.
The Bar Council of India has now sought a modification to that order.
BCI in its application has said that most judicial officers without experience at the Bar "are found impolite and impractical in their behavior with the Members of the Bar and Litigants."
“They have lack of understanding of the aspirations and expectations of Advocates and Litigants in the matter of proper and decent behavior," the plea added.
[Read BCI press release]