Presently, fresh graduates are being allowed to sit for Judicial Service throughout the territory of India without having any practical experience at the Bar. BCI has decided, along state bar councils, that three year minimum experience as an advocate is necessary for being considered eligible to sit for a Judicial Service Exam.
A writ petition is filed against this notification By Supreme court advocate R.Venkatesh challenging that this notification is illegal and unwarranted. BCI contends that Judicial Officers not having practical experience at the Bar are mostly found to be incapable and inept in handling matters. Subordinate Judicial Magistrate who are directly recruited to judiciary without having advocacy experience are impolite and impractical in their behaviour with 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 behaviour.
Due to this, it results in delays in disposal of cases in the lower judiciary. According to BCI, experienced and trained judicial officers can comprehend and dispose of cases in the lower judiciary at a much faster pace, meaning thereby that would lead to the efficient administration of justice.
The central point from the perspective of BCI is that the inadequacy of practical experience can be solved by three years practice at bar. Before getting into the reasoning, rationality and fairness of BCI’s perspective, it is pertinent to look into Shetty Commission Report about the service condition of judicial officer and court staffs. It was constituted in matter of All India Judge’s Association case. Honourable Supreme Court has quashed the criteria of minimum 3 year practice to become eligible for civil judge in All India Judge’s Association v Union of India (2002).
In the eyes of author, the problem with this perspective of BCI is that, do they have any training academy for advocates who have registered after graduation. Delay in justice is not sufficient contention by BCI for fixing minimum 3 year experience timeline. One of the main two reasons in the delay of justice is old laws. There is dire need to amend them for the benefit of society. Another reason for the same is lack of judges and infrastructure. The point of inexperience in delaying justice is not justified.
The author agrees with the importance of practical knowledge in order to provide quick and fair decisions. But the problem here is that have BCI ever tried to check whether the students are getting practical knowledge or not? This is such a big course where a student has invested 5 years of his life and you are unable to provide practical knowledge. In this country, legal education is regulated by BCI from giving license to law college to administering the course structure of the law college syllabus along with maintaining quality education to students. Why did you not teach Behaviour, politeness, aptness to the children in college? Why are they not being told about professional ethics? What have you done by providing recognition to colleges? This put the actions of BCI and its maintainability of quality education in question.
It is such a waste of time when you practice law for three years and succeeded in it, then leave it for becoming a civil judge. Why would a person do it when he starts earning 1to 2 lakh of month and leave his settled profession to become civil judge? What BCI want is to practice law for three years, then, fail in it and start preparing for the position to become a judge and it is not sure whether BCI will announce sufficient vacancies or not.
Irrespective of how commendable the BCI resolution is, it is not devoid of flaws. Press release dictates only the proposal to re-introduce the 3 year experience eligibility. The details of the proposal can only be gauged after perusal of the detailed application filed by BCI or at the argument stage. However it is imperative to mention few pressing issues that should be taken into consideration by BCI otherwise the move will reverse the wheel of change in legal profession (https://www.livelaw.in/columns/need-for-minimum-practice-as-advocate-for-judicial-