Drishti Judiciary : FAQs
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  • Talking about those who are pursuing a dual degree (5-year law + graduation), they have ample time to find out which field of law will suit them by carrying out extensive research right from day 1 of their college.
  • The exploration period for one in this category is generally the first 3 years. During the exploration phase, one must try to explore various fields within law, such as corporate law, litigation, State PSC, UPSC, etc. and should carry out a detailed analysis of which field would suit one.
  • One should start with the preparation for the exam right from the 4th year of program as it will give ample time to prepare and revise.
  • Therefore, the last 2 years of graduation must be taken seriously. It is because every state has different requirements regarding subjects, which subjects are considered in their major and minor, local laws, local provisions, etc.

Judicial Services Examination-Eligibility Criteria

  • Lower Judicial Services– The eligibility criteria for appearing in Judicial Services Examination is a degree in LL.B and in some states it is required that he/she has enrolled or qualified to be enrolled as an Advocate under the Advocates’ Act 1961. In most states no experience is required, the age limit varies according to the state. which is usually between 21 to 35 years.
  • Higher Judicial Services– Candidates must be graduates in law and have a minimum number of years of litigating practice; usually seven years.
  • Eligibility criteria for appearing in a judicial services examination varies from state to state. The age criteria in most states being minimum 35 Years and Maximum 45 Years.

Number of attempts vary from state to state, where most of the states do not attach any minimum number of attempts to appear in judicial services exam, certain states may pose an exception to this. One such exception is the state of Uttar Pradesh where one can only give 4 attempts or till, he/she is within the age limit whichever is earlier.

An LLM, or Master of Laws, degree can be helpful in a career in judiciary in a number of ways. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Advanced Legal knowledge: An LLM degree provides students with a deep understanding of a specific area of law, such as international law, tax law, or intellectual property law. This knowledge can be beneficial for those working in judicial services, as it can help them make more informed decisions and better understand the legal issues in a particular case.
  • Research Skills: Many LLM programs require students to complete a thesis or research project, which can help them develop strong research skills. These skills can be useful for those working in judicial services, as they will often need to conduct research in order to understand the facts of a case and the applicable laws.
  • Specialization: Obtaining an LLM degree in a specific field of law allows one to specialize in that area. This can be beneficial for those working in judicial services as it can help them become experts in a particular area of law.
  • Career Advancement: LLM degrees are often viewed as a sign of advanced legal knowledge and can be desirable qualifications for many employers.

Judicial Services Examination-Eligibility Criteria

  • Lower Judiciary Services– The eligibility criteria for appearing in Judicial Services Examination is a degree in LL.B and in some states, it is required that he/she has enrolled or qualified to be enrolled as an advocate under the Advocates’ Act 1961. No experience is required, and final year candidates can also appear. The age limit varies according to the state. It is usually between 21 to 35 years.
  • Higher Judicial Services– Candidates must be graduates in law and have a minimum number of years of litigating practice; usually seven years.
  • Eligibility criteria for appearing in a judicial services examination varies from state to state. The age criteria in most states being minimum 35 Years and Maximum 45 Years.
  • Judicial Service Examination is held in three successive stages namely Preliminary Examination, Mains and Interview.

  • Preliminary Examination– The preliminary examination serves as a screening for the mains exam. It comprises of objective type questions. The marks secured in the preliminary examination are not counted for the final selection. Some states may have negative markings attached to this stage.
  • Mains Examination– The mains examination is a subjective type of exam. The exam comprises of three to four papers usually that includes law subjects as well as language. The marks secured by candidates are counted for the final selection. Candidates equal to three times the number of vacancies are called for personal interview.
  • Personal Interview– This is the final stage of selection where candidates are assessed on general interest, personality and intelligence among other factors.
  • Important subjects for the preparation of judicial services examinations:

    • Constitutional Law.
    • Contract Law and Tort Law.
    • General Knowledge and Current Affairs.
    • Criminal Law (IPC, CPC, CrPC, and The Indian Evidence Act)
    • Civil Law (CPC, Contract Act, NÍ Act, Property law etc).
    • Proficiency in English Language and Aptitude.

    Questions are also asked from the general knowledge section. The important topics under general knowledge include the following:

    • Communications and Space.
    • Current National Issues & topics of social relevance.
    • Geography of India.
    • History of India.
    • India and the World.
    • Indian Culture.
    • Indian Economy.
    • Indian Polity.
    • International Affairs and Institutions.
    • Science and Technology etc.

    However, some states cover a few additional topics in their preliminary exams also.

    For the State Judicial Services Exam, there is no minimum percentage required in most of the states. The essential requirement is the possession of an LLB by a candidate I.e., Degree from a recognized university (either a 5-year integrated course or 3-year course). Good academic performance can help you to successfully complete the examination of judicial services. To apply for the Madhya Pradesh Civil Judge Exam, one must have completed graduation in Law from a recognized university and:

    • Must have engaged in continuous practice as an Advocate for a minimum of three years on the last date fixed for the submission of the application,
    • Must have an outstanding academic record with a minimum aggregate of 70% marks (for General & OBC category), or a minimum aggregate of 50% marks (for SC & ST category) during your three or five years of law degree.
    • Yes, a practicing lawyer can appear in judicial services examination.
    • To appear in the judicial service examination, one must possess some qualifications. The following are the qualifications which are same for all the states:
      • The person should be a citizen of India.
      • Must have an LLB/LLM degree. However, it is not mandatory to have an LLM degree to apply for the judge exam.
      • LLB degree from a recognized University in India.
      • One must be enrolled as an Advocate under the Advocates Act, 1961 with membership in the state Bar Council.
    • There are certain states where there is no negative marking in the examination, but certain states have a provision for negative marking.
    • For example- In Rajasthan the preliminary examination has no negative marking. Uttar Pradesh has 0.5 negative marking, Delhi has 0.25 negative marking, Gujarat has 0.33 negative marking for each wrong answer etc.
    • For the judiciary, all that matters is your effort during those 3/5 years. National Law University will just give you a platform and after that, it's all one’s efforts that counts. During the examination, it does not matter whether you're from a National Law University or an ordinary Law college.
    • All that matters is your hard work and the knowledge which you gained. So, one can become a judge without graduating from NLU.

    Language forms an important part of the state judicial services exam. Hindi forms part of the syllabus where the local state language is Hindi e.g. Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh have Hindi language in qualifying the judicial service examination.

    Following are the ways in which an effective study plan for judiciary can be prepared:

    • Select the state you wish to appear for.
    • Analyse the syllabus of that particular state.
    • Go through previous year question papers of that state.
    • Read Bare acts multiple times.
    • Make brief notes of important landmark judgements.
    • Keep yourself updated with current legal affairs.
    • Make synopsis of all topics.
    • Go for mock tests for both pre and mains.

    General Studies is not a part of every state judicial service examination. States such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have separate papers for ‘General Studies’, whereas states such as Delhi, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh give more weightage to current affairs as compared to general studies. So, general studies is an important part for both pre and mains if a candidate opts for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

    Current Affairs are very important for judicial service examinations as they constitute a major part of pre and mains exams in some states such as Delhi, U.P, Uttarakhand. In other states current affairs are important for interviews.

    Both the Hindu and Indian Express are highly preferred newspapers for judicial service examinations. However, a candidate should follow either of the two newspapers religiously.

    While reading the newspaper, give more preference to sections relevant to your judiciary exam preparation. Pay special attention to national news, international affairs, legal updates, and editorials. Write down important points, legal news as you read them and highlight crucial information for easy future reference. Make separate notes of editorials as they help in essay writing.

    By reading newspapers and by following Supreme Court and various High Courts websites, one can be easily updated with the recent evolutions in law.

    The allocation of marks for various judicial stages differs from state to state. Marks allocation of some of the major states are as follows:

    • Madhya Pradesh
      • Preliminary Examination - 150 Marks
      • Mains Examination - 400 Marks
      • Interview - 50 Marks
    • Delhi
      • Preliminary Examination - 200 Marks
      • Mains Examination - 850 Marks
      • Interview - 150 Marks
    • Rajasthan
      • Preliminary Examination - 100 Marks
      • Mains Examination - 300 Marks
      • Interview - 35 Marks
    • Haryana
      • Preliminary Examination - 500 Marks
      • Mains Examination - 900 Marks
      • Interview - 200 Marks
    • Uttar Pradesh
      • Preliminary Examination - 450 Marks
      • Mains Examination - 1000 Marks
      • Interview - 100 Marks

    Solving previous year's questions is very beneficial for judiciary as:

    • They provide a better understanding of the examination pattern.
    • One can get to know about the important topics through them.
    • It serves as a criterion for self-assessment.
    • Time Management skills can be developed by practicing them.
    • It provides a way for planning an effective strategy for the exams.

    Some of the key essentials to crack judiciary in one go are as follows:

    • Determination and Dedication.
    • Focus and Hardwork.
    • Time Management.
    • Limited Resources.
    • Multiple Revisions.
    • Practicing previous year question papers.

    Preparing for Regional Language in State Judiciary Exam

    • Read newspapers available in the regional language of that state.
    • Practice translating editorials, judgments, paragraphs every day from English to the regional language of that state.
    • Purchase Bare Acts in the regional language for learning the language of the Court.
    • Solve Previous Years’ Question papers to see the difficulty level of the translation portion.

    Following books are best for preparing for judiciary:

    • Constitution: J. N. Pandey
    • Code of Civil Procedure, 1908: C K Takwani
    • Indian Penal Code: K. D. Gaur, Ratanlal and Dhirajlal
    • Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973: R V Kelkar
    • Indian Contract Act, 1872: Avtar Singh
    • Transfer of Property Act, 1882: Avtar Singh
    • Indian Evidence Act, 1871: Batuk lal, Avtar Singh
    • Hindu Law: UPD Kesari, Paras Diwan
    • Muslim Law: Aqil Ahmad
    • Specific Relief Act: Avtar Singh
    • Limitation Act: J D Jain
    • Law of Torts with Consumer Protection Act: R K Bangia
    • International Law: H O Agarwal
    • Administrative Law: I.P Massey
    • Jurisprudence: N V Paranjape
    • Multiple reading of Bare Acts should be done for preliminary examinations

    With a structured approach, preparations for judicial service examination can be done in one year. As one year is a very limited timeframe, the candidate should decide the states in which they will be appearing and thereafter they should complete the entire syllabus by studying for a maximum number of hours. This should be followed by practicing previous year questions and mock test series both for pre and mains.

    Fundamentals to keep in mind while reading a bare act are as follows:

    • Focus on the objective of framing of the legislation.
    • Go through the interpretation and the definition clauses.
    • Understand the literal interpretation of the statute.
    • Break sentences into various parts.
    • Understand the punctuation.
    • Read other texts related to the legislation.
    • Put a strong emphasis on the use of words like “may”, “shall”, “nothing in this section”, “notwithstanding”, “except” etc.
    • Note down the relatable sections in a notebook to refer them together while reading again.
    • Read important Orders with Sections while referring Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
    • Revise marginal notes of the section.
      • Students usually remember the doctrine covered and forget the marginal note of the section.
      • For example, Section 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 is generally remembered as a provision covering the doctrine of Res Sub Judice; however, the marginal note of the section is “Stay of Suit”.

    Yes, it is possible for you to take the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Judiciary Exam even if you are from Bihar and not a domicile of UP. The eligibility criteria for the UP judiciary exam usually require that the candidate should have a bachelor's degree in law (LL.B or BA.LLB) from a recognized university or institute and should meet other specified requirements such as age limit, nationality, and good character.

    As long as you fulfill the eligibility criteria and meet the requirements specified by the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission (UPPSC) for the judiciary exam, you can apply and appear for the exam regardless of your state of origin or domicile.

    There are two aspects that act as deciding factors of difficulty level:

      1. Local Language
      2. Conducting Body
    • Firstly, the examination conducted by the states in the northern belt such as Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Uttarakhand, and Madhya Pradesh are considered to be easy as one can opt for Hindi as one of the languages.
    • In the second case, it is generally considered that states where judicial services examination is conducted by High Court have a lesser difficulty level in comparison to the states where the conducting authority is the State Public Service Commission.
      • States like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan fall under the category where the conducting body of the examination is the High Court of the state.

    No, most of the state judiciary requires a graduation degree in law as a basic eligibility to appear in the examination. Moreover, states like Rajasthan allow final-year law students to appear in examinations. But a candidate with backlogs will not be permitted to take the judicial services examination.

    Both of these courses are integrated courses opted after passing 12th Boards. Hence, choosing the integrated course depends upon the aspirant’s stream in the 12th Boards.

    • If the aspirant is a commerce student or has an interest in Accounts and Business Studies, he/she can opt for B.B.A.LL.B otherwise he/she can go on to pursue B.A.LL.B where the aspirant has to study history and political science and similar subjects.

    Before choosing any course, the aspirant should understand the basic difference between the two; in most of the colleges the first 3 years he/she will study both BBA/BA subjects with Law.

    • And in the last 2 years, he/she will study only law subjects.

    Hence, both of them are equally helpful in the Judicial Services Examination.

    Subject-wise highly recommended books for preparation of judiciary are mentioned below:

    • Constitution: J. N. Pandey, Subhash C Kashyap
    • Code of Civil Procedure, 1908: C K Takwani
    • Indian Penal Code: K. D. Gaur, S N Mishra
    • Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973: R V Kelkar
    • Indian Contract Act, 1872: Avtar Singh, R K Bangia
    • Transfer of Property Act, 1882: Avtar Singh
    • Indian Evidence Act, 1871: Batuk lal, Avtar Singh
    • Hindu Law: UPD Kesari, Paras Diwan
    • Muslim Law: Aqil Ahmad
    • Specific Relief Act: Avtar Singh
    • Limitation Act: J D Jain
    • Law of Torts with Consumer Protection Act: R K Bangia
    • International Law: H O Agarwal
    • Administrative Law: U P D Kesari
    • Jurisprudence: N V Paranjape

    Note: Read the recommended book along with the Bare Act of the concerned subject.

    UPSC CSE Exam

    • The UPSC examination’s exam pattern is not prone to change with time. It was last amended in 2013.
    • After prelims, in mains UPSC consists of 5 compulsory papers (4 papers of GS and 1 of Essay), and one optional subject with two papers.
      • A law student can choose law as an optional subject.
    • GS paper 2 (Polity) syllabus almost overlaps to a remarkable extent with the law optional syllabus.
    • Procedural law is not included in the law optional syllabus, so it becomes easy for a law graduate to attempt the same.
    • However, UPSC exam requires wider coverage of GS Subjects as compared to judiciary exams.

    Judicial Services

    • The number of papers, syllabus, and marking scheme changes from state to state as different states have different patterns.
    • State judicial service invariably has a language barrier, with one compulsory local language subject paper.
      • The aspirants who are not familiar with the language find the language paper difficult to attempt.

    Hence, a law student can definitely choose the UPSC CSE examination as a career option. But there is not much similarity between both examinations, hence it will be arduous to prepare for both simultaneously. An aspirant must focus on any of them and start his preparation.

    Yes, however it depends upon your preparation and how you adjust your timetable for studying while doing your job.

    • Your fundamental concept must be clear to hold a strong grip on major law subjects such as Constitution, Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, Code of Civil Procedure, Transfer of Property Act, Indian Contract Act, Indian Evidence Act, etc.
    • You must refer to the Bare Act for all the subjects.
    • Do not devalue minor laws as they play a key role in qualifying cut-off. The aspirant must keep minor laws like Specific Relief Act, Limitation Act, Rent Control, Partnership Act, Sale of Goods Act, etc. with major subjects.
    • Try to grab some leisure time in office hours to study minor laws.
    • Add attempting mock test and solving previous year questions in your timetable.
    • Aspirants must refer to a newspaper daily or can study from any monthly magazine of consolidated current affairs of a month.

    As per the Bar Council of India, clearing the All-India Bar Examination is not a pre-requisite for entering judicial service.

    • Further, separate examinations are prescribed for entry to the judicial services in India and some states like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh has made practice mandatory in order to appear for the state judicial services examinations.
    • A 7-year experience as an advocate is required for the Higher Judiciary Examinations.
    • Hence, if eligibility to practice law or experience as an advocate are necessary prerequisites for qualification to the judiciary, you may have to successfully clear the All-India Bar Examination.
    • However, all states have not made the practice mandatory, clearing the bar examination as a necessary requirement for judicial services examination depends on the eligibility criteria of the concerned state.

    The tips mentioned below can be followed for improving English language for judicial services examination:

    1. Allocate at least 1 hour for preparing English Subjects daily.
    2. Read an English newspaper daily. (Indian Express or The Hindu can be referred)
    3. Read Diglot Bare Acts and make notes of important words from provisions written in English and its Hindi meaning.
    4. Start practicing essay writing on a daily basis. Focus more on socio-legal issues.
    5. To clear your concepts in English grammar start reading “Wren & Martin”.
    6. Practice translation on a regular basis.

    Law graduates can fill in the application form individually for each state they want to appear. There are no such restrictions in terms of how many states the candidate wants to appear.

    • NCERT books can be referred for preparing the static portions of History, Geography, Polity and General Science.
    • They are helpful for judicial services examination of a few states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar which are having a separate paper for it as GS Paper-I.
    • Some states like Delhi and Uttarakhand have only the current affairs section in the general knowledge paper.

    Judicial Services Examination is a State Level Examination and hence there is no bar in appearing for different states in the same year.

    Preparation for CLAT PG Exam can be helpful in preparation for the judiciary as major law subjects overlap in certain areas though the exam pattern differs. A CLAT PG aspirant is supposed to be well versed in major subjects like IPC, CrPC, Constitution, CPC, Indian Evidence Act, Transfer of Property Act, etc., apparently, preparation for these subjects will be helpful in preparation for the judiciary.

    Writing forms, the basis of every examination that has a Subjective Type - Mains Exam attached to it. To improve writing skills practicing Mains Exam Test Series is important.

    Few points to keep in mind while writing answers in the mains exam:

    • Understand the question properly.
    • Keep the answers simple and precise.
    • Manage time while writing answers.
    • Write short sentences.
    • Use proper legal terms.
    • Mention important Case Laws.
    • Follow proper format while writing answers.
    • Avoid using many abbreviations.
    • Try to have a holistic approach while writing essays.
    • Legal translation should be done with proper legal terminology.

    Judicial Services Examination requires conceptual clarity on legal aspects and tests one’s legal knowledge. Bare Acts aid in understanding of legal provisions in consonance with the intention of the legislature.

    One must refer to a textbook for a specific subject for conceptual clarity and understanding the practical aspect of such provisions. Dukki cannot be the sole source of information for judiciary exam although it may be used for revision.

    The promotion matrix primarily consists of the following posts (the posts may vary from state to state):

    • Civil Judge Junior Division
    • Civil Judge Senior Division
    • Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate
    • Chief Judicial Magistrate
    • Additional District Judge / Session Judge
    • District Judge / Session Judge

    After the abovementioned post one elevates to High Court. (The minimum years of experience for promotion to each level varies from state to state.)

    Yes, while preparing for Judicial Services Examination one can also appear in other state level exams like Assistant Prosecutor Officer, Legal Exams in PSUs and Banks and other exams involving Legal Knowledge.

    The basic difference lies in following areas:

    • Lower Judiciary: The candidate must have attained the age of 22 years and for most of the states the maximum age limit is 35 years. No prior work experience/practice is required.
    • Higher Judiciary: The minimum age is 35 years, and the maximum age is 45 years with a minimum of seven years practicing experience as an advocate.

    The Judicial Services Examination is a State Level Exam and Local Laws form an inseparable part of the syllabus of the State Level Exam. Each state has its own local laws as local issues like rent, land disputes etc. are governed by local legislation.

    Therefore, every state has three to four local laws in its syllabus which are important for regulation of state affairs. Covering local acts for judicial exams is important for prelims as well as the mains examination.

    The Judicial Services Interview is either conducted by the State High Court or the State Public Service Commission. The question may be classified as:

    • Personal - Questions based on the candidate’s educational qualification or experience or interests.
    • Subject Wise - Questions based on Legal Knowledge on various subjects and current Legal Pronouncements.
    • General Knowledge Based - Questions pertaining to National and State Level Static General Knowledge and Current Affairs. Pay attention to Current Developments on Legal and Non-Legal events on the dates immediately preceding the Interview Day.

    State of Madhya Pradesh includes following additional Subjects/Topic in its syllabus:

    • MP Accommodation Control Act, 1961
    • MP Land Revenue Code, 1959
    • Translation (Hindi to English)
    • Translation (English to Hindi)
    • Framing of Issues
    • Framing of Charges
    • Judgement or Order (Civil) Writing for Civil Judge II Class level
    • Judgement or Order (Criminal) Writing for Judicial Magistrate First Class Level

    If the targeted state includes Commercial Law or Corporate Law in its syllabus, Company Law must be studied carefully. (Bihar is one such state.)

    If one appears in the subordinate judicial services exam, most of the states do not require a minimum of 3 years of practice. But certain states may require minimum practice experience e.g., Madhya Pradesh recently amended its eligibility criteria as in following manner: One must be engaged in continuous practice as an Advocate for a minimum of 3 years on the last date fixed for submitting your MPCJ application or must have passed all your exams in the first attempt and secured a remarkable 70% aggregate marks, for General to be eligible become a Civil Judge.

    Yes, if one applies for the Higher Judicial Services Exam which requires a minimum of 7 years of practice, he/she can directly join as an Additional District Judge/ Additional Session Judge.

    The All-India Judicial Services is not yet implemented.

    Yes, some states like Rajasthan allow final year students to appear in Subordinate Judicial Services Exam. However, at the time of appointment, candidates will be required to show proper documents of their graduation.

    The Judicial Services Exam is a highly competitive exam in which coaching may aid in speeding up the preparation. Coaching provides practice series, notes of static portion, conducts mock examinations, and covers the latest evolution transpiring in the legal realm important for the examination.