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No unanimity on setting up all-India judicial services: Moily

The Centre's plan to set up an all-India judicial services may not take off soon due to lack of unanimity among various states and the High Courts on the issue.

delhi Updated: Jul 18, 2010 20:15 IST

The Centre's plan to set up an all-India judicial services may not take off soon due to lack of unanimity among various states and the High Courts on the issue.

"The issue of an all-India judicial service came up for discussions. But there was no unanimity as the various states and their High Courts have their own views...the debate will continue. We do not wish to impose ourselves," Law Minister M Veerappa Moily told reporters in New Delhi on Sunday.

He said the Department of Justice in the Law Ministry will prepare a consultation paper on the issue.

Moily was speaking after attending the regional meeting of six north Indian states here on the issue of implementing the recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission.

The Centre's plan to create a national-level judicial service, on the pattern of the All-India Civil Services, is based on the recommendation of the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice.

In its 15th report, tabled in May, 2006, the committee had asked the Law Ministry to expedite steps to set up all-India judicial services to appoint district-level judges.

As of now, while most government departments have all-India service recruits, selected after the all-India competitive examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year, judiciary is the only set-up that doesn't have an all-India selection process.

Almost all states have their own state-level judicial services, with successful candidates constituting the bulk of the subordinate judiciary.

On the issue of poor response from various states on establishing Gram Nyayalayas after the law in this regard came into effect last year on Gandhi Jayanti, he said the Centre was willing to release extra funds.

"States have said they do not have sufficient funds. We are ready to raise the finances," he said adding that the Railways was "anxious" to work out a system under which mobile courts in rural areas can be established on trains.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while addressing judges at a national conference here in August last year, had said while there could be differing views on the adequacy of the assistance being provided for setting up the rural courts, "this should not hold us from speedily bringing the Act into force".

With more than 3.11 crore cases pending across the country, the rural courts will help deliver justice at the door step of the common man.

On the other issues which came up during the meeting, Moily said discussions on judicial impact assessment would continue as more consultations were required on the sensitive subject.

Moily said states have been asked to work on establishing more CBI courts after the Prime Minister approved setting up of 71 such courts across the country.

He said besides the Rs 5,000 crore recommended by the 13th Finance Commission and approved by the Centre, an additional Rs 8,000 crore would be provided on a one-time basis for improving court infrastructure.

The concept of Family Courts seems not to have found favour with certain states. The Minister said a suitable law could be introduced to ensure that all family related issues are dealt with by a single court, saving litigants the trouble of visiting multiple courts.

He said efforts are also being made to fill up vacancies in subordinate and High Courts on a "war footing" and "meritorious candidates with integrity" would be selected to fill up the posts.

First Published: Jul 18, 2010 20:13 IST