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A judge is an official who presides over court proceedings. The role of a judge is to conduct a trial impartially and in an open court.

education Updated: May 07, 2013 16:35 IST
Hindustan Times
RS Sodhi,former judge,Delhi High Court

The lowdown

A judge is an official who presides over court proceedings. The role of a judge is to conduct a trial impartially and in an open court. The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the litigating parties of the case, assesses the credibility and arguments of the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of the law and personal judgment. One should be very objective and prepared to listen to both the parties patiently. Though he/she will be called upon to exercise his/her discretionary authority, a judge should always ensure compliance to the basic principles of law while issuing verdicts. To qualify as an able judge a person should be abreast of current social, political and economic issues. The objective is to be able to hear out various parties in an objective manner so that a just and fair judgment is delivered.

9am: Attend cases and listen to the parties
11am: Work continues with a
continuous string of cases
1pm: Lunch
2pm: Resume hearing
4pm: Go to the chamber and read the files for next day’s cases
5pm: Go home

The payoff
The salary of an entry-level civil judge is around Rs. 35,000 a month. After reaching the level of a district judge, s/he is entitled to approximately Rs. 60,000 a month. High court judges draw around Rs. 90,000 a month and Supreme Court judges around Rs. 1 lakh a month

* Phenomenal ability to accumulate information related to anything which is subject to litigation
* Should be an expert in procedural laws — code of civil procedure and code of criminal procedure and the law of evidence
* Great oratory and debating skills

Getting there
After doing a BA (LLB) course, one can appear for the judiciary exam conducted by the high courts of a state. A successful candidate works in the lower judiciary as a civil judge or metropolitan magistrate in the district courts. One becomes eligible for appointment as a judge in one of the high courts in India after practising for ten years as a lawyer in the high court

Institutes and URLs
* Faculty of Law, Delhi University www.du.ac.in/index.php?id=344?
* National Law School of India University, Bangalore
* National Law University, Jodhpur
* Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi jmi.ac.in/aboutjamia/faculties/law/introduction

Pros and cons
* Limited growth as you get only one promotion to the rank of additional district judge
* The job offers you the potential to work on high profile cases

The biggest challenge is to ensure that justice is not delayed. You have to go by what the law says, not what you know -- RS Sodhi, former judge, Delhi High Court

First Published: May 07, 2013 16:04 IST