Time to set up judicial services for all India: Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

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More than 5,000 judicial officer positions in district and subordinate courts are vacant, Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told Lok Sabha on Wednesday, stressing the need to set up judicial services across India .

The sanctioned strength of judicial officers in district and subordinate courts was 22,644 as of September 30, 2018, the minister said citing information provided by the respective high courts and state governments.

“The number of judicial officers in post and vacancies is 17,509 and 5,135 respectively,” he told Lok Sabha during Question Time. The Minister said that the time has come to set up forensic services for the whole of India and that the examinations could be carried out by the UPSC.

While clarifying that such services would not encroach on states’ powers, Prasad said discussions were underway on the matter. The selection and appointment of judges in the lower courts is the responsibility of the high courts and the governments of the states concerned. The government has advocated for the establishment of All India Judicial Services to appoint people in the lower judiciary.

In August 2018, the Minister wrote to all Chief Justices of the High Court to regularly monitor the status of vacancies and ensure proper coordination with the State Civil Service Commission to fill vacancies in accordance to a written response.

The Minister also said that the time has come to seriously establish the National Judicial Commission.

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