Become a Judge in India. Know how you can get into India’s Judicial Services..!!

We all have seen that person in a court hammering and screaming Order Order..!! (At least in movies 😜). But, we know that in real life that’s not the only thing a Judge does.

There is a hell lot of work and lack of Judges to do that.

A Judge’s job is to ensure that the Rule of Law is being followed. Every student has thought of becoming a Judge in his whole law school life at least once.

After you become a Judge in India, you may earn much less than many practising Advocates but you will be satisfied with what you are doing. One direction/order may have a great impact on many people’s lives. That’s not a small thing. It’s a big responsibility and you also get a chance to serve your country.

In addition to that, you get many facilities too, like furnished accommodation, travelling allowances, car, maid, bodyguard, etc. and the most important thing is the Respect you get in the society.

How are Judges Appointed? or What’s the process to become a Judge?

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India is the highest court under the Constitution of India. Judges of this court are appointed by the President of India after consultation with other members of the Judiciary.

To be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court, a person must :

  • be a citizen of India
  • have been a Judge of a high court for at least five years or
  • an advocate of a high court for at least 10 years or
  • be a distinguished jurist, in the opinion of the president

High Court

Every judge in a High Court is appointed by the President of India in consultation with the Chief Justice of India, the Governor of the state and the Chief Justice of the High Court.

To be eligible to become a Judge in the High Court, a person should have held a Judicial Office in India for 10 years. Or would have been an Advocate in a High Court with 10 years experience.

Subordinate Courts

To become a Judge in the subordinate courts. One has to clear the Judicial Service Examination.

In case of Higher judiciary(District & Sessions Court), one needs to have at least 7 years of experience even before applying for the exam.

Fresh law graduates can pass this exam and get selected as a Judge in the lower judiciary.

So if you are planning to become a judge in india in your early days itself, then…

The first step is to graduate and get a Law degree.

Then you have to take a competitive examination, known as the Judicial Service Examination. It is an entry-level exam for law graduates to become members of the subordinate judiciary, which is conducted by your State’s Public Service Commission.

This exam follows three steps.

  • Preliminary Examination (MCQ based test)
  • Mains Examination
  • Viva Voice or Interview

The Preliminary Exam comprises objective type questions. The Preliminary Examination is conducted only for the purpose of shortlisting candidates for the Main Examination.

The Mains examination is subjective type. The exam usually comprises of three to four papers.

The marks obtained by the candidates in the Preliminary Examination will not be counted for the purpose of determining the final merit list. The Final merit list will be prepared on the basis of total marks obtained in the Main Examination and the Viva-Voce Test.

Eligibility for this exam is usually the same for all States. Commonly it is –

  • Must be a Citizen of India.
  • Must have a Degree in Law from a University recognised by Bar Council of India or must be enrolled as an Advocate in his State’s Bar Council. 
  • Age Limit(varies from State to State)

But, some States may include many other points here too. For ex: Age limit may be different for SC & ST candidates, there may be reservations for some other minority groups, etc.

Note – After you graduate you need to clear AIBE, you can read a detailed post about it, here.

The Syllabus for the examination mainly covers the following topics:-

  • Constitution of India
  • Code of Criminal Procedure
  • Indian Penal Code
  • Civil Procedure Code
  • Indian Evidence Act
  • Transfer of Property Act
  • Specific Relief Act
  • Law of Contracts
  • Sale of Goods Act
  • Administrative Law
  • Family Law

Apart from the above subjects there are many other topics too which varies from State to State. As it also includes the laws passed by their State Legislature. 

Language – You will also have a language paper. English will be a compulsory language. One other language paper may also be there, which is usually the State’s official language.

This paper may include grammar, precise writing, comprehension, translation of English into the State’s Language and vice versa. The paper pattern depends on the State, it may include all of the above or only Translation or only grammar & comprehension.

As we stated earlier, syllabus varies from State to State. You can check below, what more topics do States include in their syllabus except the topics mentioned above.

Judicial ServicesSyllabus (Other Topics)
Arunachal PradeshGeneral Knowledge
Aptitude Test
AssamGeneral Knowledge
Aptitude Test
Assamese Language
BiharGeneral Knowledge & Current Affairs
Elementary General Science
Law of Trusts
Principles of Equity
Commercial Law
Hindi Language
ChhattisgarhThe Limitation Act
Accommodation Control Act
Court Fees Act
Registration Act
Chhattisgarh Land Revenue Code
Framing of Issues & Judgement Writing (Civil Cases)
Framing of Charges & Judgement Writing (Criminal Cases)
Hindi Language
DelhiGeneral Knowledge
Aptitude
Indian Partnership Act
Principles governing Arbitration Law
Delhi Rent Control Act
Law of Limitation
Law of Registration
Hindi Language
GoaThe Limitation Act
Indian Partnership Act
Indian Easement Act
Family Laws in Goa including Hindu & Mohammedan Laws
The Goa, Daman & Diu Agricultural Tenancy Act
The Goa, Daman & Diu Mundkars (Protection from Eviction) Act
The Goa, Daman & Diu Buildings (Lease, Rent & Eviction) Control Act
Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act
Protection of Civil Rights Act
Negotiable Instruments Act
Konkani Language
GujaratGeneral Knowledge, Reasoning, Mental Ability, Basic Computers
The Gujarat Prohibition Act(Old Bombay Prohibition Act)
The Probation of Offenders’ Act 
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act
The Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act
The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act
Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act
The Negotiable Instruments Act
The Registration of Births and Deaths Act
The Limitation Act
The Indian Partnership Act
The Gujarat Court Fees Act, 2004
Gujarati Language
HaryanaPunjab Courts Act
Indian Partnership Act
Law of Limitation
Law of Registration
Hindi Language
Himachal PradeshIndian Stamp Act
Himachal Pradesh Courts Act
The Limitation Act
Himachal Pradesh Urban Rent Control Act
Negotiable Instruments Act
Himachal Pradesh Excise Act
Wildlife Protection Act
Indian Forests Act
Hindi Language
Jammu & KashmirConstitution of Jammu and Kashmir State.
* Criminal Procedure Code.
* Evidence Act.
Ranbir Panel Code.
* Limitation Act.
Financial Code Volume I & II.

Kashmir Service Regulation Chapters III to XIII and XXII and XXIII.
Rules and orders for the guidance of Subordinate Courts (Civil and Criminal) and Circular orders issued by the High Court.
* Civil Procedure Code.
* Registration Act.
* Transfer of Property Act.
* Right of Prior Purchase Act.
* Houses and Shops Rent Control Act.
Family Law along with Customary Law of the State
Insurance Law
* ( J&K Laws) 
Hindi or Urdu Language
JharkhandGeneral Knowledge including Current Affairs
Arbitration & Conciliation Act
Rent Control Law
Jurisprudence
The Limitation Act
Hindi Language
KarnatakaNegotiable Instruments Act
Karnataka Rent Act
General Knowledge including Reasoning & Mental Ability
Framing of Issues & Judgement Writing (Civil Cases)
Framing of Charges & Judgement Writing (Criminal Cases)
Computer Test
Kanada Language
KeralaLegal General Knowledge
Reasoning & Mental Ability
Easements Act
Kerala Building (Lease and Rent Control) Act
Indian SuccessionAct – Parts Y VI &X
Kerala Court Fees and Suits ValuationAct
Kerala Stamp Act
Kerala State Legal Services Authorities Act
The Kerala Panchayath Raj Act-Ch. X, XI, XXIA &XXIII
Kerala Municipality Act -Ch.IX, X, XXIV &XXV
Negotiable Instruments Act & Registration Act
AbkariAct
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act
Kerala Police Act
Probation of Offenders Act
Forest Act
N.D.P.S. Act (provisions relating to bail and trial by Magistrates)
Kerala Civil Courts Act
Civil Rules of Practice
Order in Interlocutory Application/ Framing of issues/Judgment writing (Civil)
Criminal Rules of Practice, Framing of charges/Order in Criminal Miscellaneous Petitions/ Judgment writing (Criminal)
Malayalam Language
MaharashtraMaharashtra Rent Control Act
Limitation Act
Indian Partnership Act
Indian Easement Act
Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act
Protection of Civil Rights Act
Negotiable Instruments Act
Marathi Language
ManipurGeneral Knowledge
Aptitude Test
MeghalayaGeneral Knowledge
Aptitude Test
Must have knowledge of Khasi or Jaintia or Garo Languages
MizoramGeneral Knowledge
Aptitude Test
Mizo Language
Madhya PradeshThe Limitation Act
MP Accommodation Control Act, 1961
MP Land Revenue Code
Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881
General Knowledge
Computer Knowledge
Framing of Issues Judgement / Order (Civil) Writing
Framing of Charges Judgement / Order (Criminal) Writing
Hindi Language
NagalandGeneral Knowledge
Aptitude Test
OrissaThe Limitation Act
Negotiable Instruments Act
Indian Partnership Act
Jurisprudence
Odia Language
PunjabPunjab Courts Act
Indian Partnership Act
Law of Registration and Limitation
Family Law along with Customary Law of State
Punjabi Language
RajasthanThe Arbitration and Conciliation Act
Indian Partnership Act
Indian Easements Act
The Legal Services Authorities Act
The Limitation Act
The Motor Vehicles Act
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act
The Registration Act
Interpretation of Statutes
Legal Maxims
Rajasthan Relief of Agricultural Indebtedness Act
The Rajasthan Court Pees & Suits Valuation Act
The Rajasthan Land Revenue Act
The Rajasthan Municipalities Act
The Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Act
The Rajasthan Rent Control Act
The Rajasthan Stamp Act
The Rajasthan Tenancy Act
General Rules (Civil) and Judgment Writing
The Electricity Act
The Information Technology Act
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act
The Negotiable Instrument Act
The Probation of Offenders Act
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act
The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act
General Rules (Criminal) and Judgment Writing
Hindi Language
Must have thorough Knowledge of Rajasthani Dialects and Social Customs of Rajasthan
SikkimNotice dated 2nd January 1897 relating to transfer of land by Bhutias and Lepchas.
Revenue Order No. 1 dated 17th May, 1917
Notice No. 660/G dated 21st May, 1931
Notice No. 669/G dated 21st May 1931
Sikkim Darbar Gazette Vol. XVIII No. 11 dated 21st April, 1969 Right of a woman to purchase or sell land after her marriage vis-àvis Revenue Order No. 1 of 1917.
O. O. No. 105/L.R. dated 25th February, 1961. Notification No. 385/G dated 11th April, 1928 (Regarding Registration of Documents)
Notification No. 2947/G dated 22nd November, 1946 (Regarding Registration of Documents)
Sikkim State Rules Registration of Documents
Notification No. 6326-600/H&W-B dated 14.04.1949 Regulation of
Letting and Sub-letting of Premises etc. (Health & Works Deptt.).
Gangtok Rent Control & Eviction Act
The Sikkim Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants
and Rent Recovery) Act
The Sikkim Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants and Rent Recovery) Rules
The Sikkim Cultivators Protection Act
The Sikkim Land (Requisition & Acquisition) Act
Notification No. 1209/L&F dated 25th May, 1950 (Regarding formulation of Substantive Law for Land in Sikkim)
The Sikkim Regulation of Transfer of Land Act
Sikkim Court Fees & stamp on Documents Rules dated 30.03.1928 (Amended schedule).
Sikkim Court Fees (Exemption and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act
Sikkim Civil Courts Act
Sikkim Shops and Commercial Establishment Act
Sikkim Allotment of House Sites and Construction of Buildings (Regulation and Control) Act
Interpretation and General Clauses Act.
Sikkim Interpretation and General Clauses Act
The Sikkim Anti Drugs Act
The Sikkim State Legislator’s Appointment to Different Authorities Act
The Sikkim State Public Services Act, 2006.
Notification on Issuance of Certificate of Identification. Notification No. 66/Home/95 dated 2nd November, 1995.
Rural Indebtedness Act.
Sikkim Rural Indebtedness Act, 1966 dated 23.9.1966, Notification
No. 845/II dated 20.08.1968 issued under the Sikkim Rural Indebtedness Act, 1966
General Clauses Act
Nepali Language or Any other Language of the State
Tamil NaduGeneral Knowledge including Test of Reasoning and Mental ability.
The Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act
Tamil Nadu Regulation of Rights & Responsibilities of Landlords & Tenants Act
The Criminal Minor Acts (including Information Technology Act, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act)
Tamil Language
Telangana & Andhra PradeshIndian Easements Act
The Limitation Act 
Negotiable Instruments Act
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act
Registration Act
Indian Stamp Act
A.P. Land Encroachment Act
A.P. Buildings(Lease, Rent & Eviction) Control Act
Civil Rules of Practice and Criminal Rules of Practice
Telugu Language
TripuraGeneral Knowledge
Aptitude Test
Local laws of Tripura
Uttar PradeshGeneral Knowledge including Current Affairs
Jurisprudence
International Organisations
Indian Partnership Act
Indian Easement Act
Law of Trusts & Principals of Equity
Uttar Pradesh Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act
Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act
Uttar Pradesh Municipalities Act
U.P. Panchayat Raj Act
U.P. Consolidation of Holding Act
Uttar Pradesh Urban (Planning and Development) Act
Framing of Issues Judgement / Order (Civil) Writing
Framing of Charges Judgement / Order (Criminal) Writing
Hindi Language
UttarakhandGeneral Knowledge including Current Affairs
Indian Partnership Act
Indian Easement Act
Law of Trusts & Principals of Equity
Framing of Issues Judgement / Order (Civil) Writing
Framing of Charges Judgement / Order (Criminal) Writing
U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act (as applicable in Uttarakhand)
Basic Computers
Hindi Language
West BengalGeneral Knowledge, Current Affairs and Test of Reasoning
Jurisprudence and Principles of Legislation
Indian Law relating to Companies and Insurance
Principles of Equity including the Law of Trusts
Indian Partnership Act
Law of Limitation and Law of Prescription
Bengali Language(Not necessary for those whose mother tongue is Nepali)

After going through the table above you come to know that along with the Local Laws, the Language is also important. 

If you can read & write Hindi then you can apply to about 8 to 10 State Judicial Services.

While if you are not good at Hindi but know some other language, then you can try in that respective State. And if you know no other language better than English. Still, you have an option of Arunachal Pradesh.

The language paper tests your proficiency in the language so that you can understand the local laws, rules, etc better. That’s the reason most of the States keep this paper as just a qualifying paper and the marks of this paper are not considered while making the merit list.

Final Words

Before starting preparations for the examination do not forget to read the whole Official Notification of that exam. Because the eligibility criteria, syllabus, etc. is not uniform like other competitive exams. It’s different for each State Judicial Service. 
For example:

  • Jammu & Kashmir requires a Physical Fitness test
  • Delhi has a negative marking system for Prelims
  • To appear for Maharashtra Service, Fresh Law Graduates must have cleared all their exams in 1st attempt and must gain at least 55% marks in the last semester. If you are a Law Graduate but do not possess above qualifications then you have to wait for 3 years and apply after gaining 3 years experience.

You must not be surprised after you come across any such condition. So, read the notification thoroughly.

Don’t think that this is just another exam like your law school exams. It is not that easy.

At the same time if you plan properly, devote sufficient time and also practice past year’s question papers then it is not hard to crack this examination and become a Judge in India.

Stay motivated and make it happen. All the best My Lord..!! 😃 👍

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