judiciary
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This article has been written by Oishika Banerji, an undergraduate student of Amity Law School, Kolkata. This article deals with the ways to prepare for the Andhra Pradesh Judicial Service Examination. 

Introduction 

Judiciary is one of the most important branches of democracy and is designed to deal with the problems of society. In such a branch, the role of judges holds immense importance because they are vested with the responsibility to administer, interpret and apply laws and thereby to see that justice is done which as a whole requires a lot of hard work, dedication and determination towards the Judicial System. For doing so, one needs to appear for the Judicial Service Examinations that take place every year in different states across the nation. This examination is the entrance for any law graduate to serve as a Judge in the lower judiciary of our nation. One of the most difficult jobs is that of a judge for he or she becomes the person to decide what is correct and what is not following the legal statutes and procedure without being biased.

A demanding professional field, judicial services see a huge number of candidates appearing for the same in order to pursue a secured professional tenure. To be a part of this competition and succeed in the same requires planning, intention, and strategies which one can have either through self-studying or by the help of any coaching institute. Knowledge from all angles of law is required to be successful in this examination. The exam is divided into three stages through which a candidate is supposed to go through before taking up the responsibility as a judge that are discussed in the latter part of the article. The stages are:

1) Preliminary Examination

2) Main Examination

3) Viva voice

Eligibility criteria and age limit

Subordinate judiciary of a state is controlled by the state’s High Court. In Andhra Pradesh, High Court, Amaravati releases notification for the recruitment of the civil judge (Junior) every year. (Before the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh the High Court of AP was in Hyderabad) The recruitment is of two types: Direct Recruitment and Recruitment by transfer. One must qualify the screening test and interview for getting the position of Judge. In the Junior Civil Judge, the recruitment is limited and very competitive. The number of seats varies from year to year depending on the necessity. Generally, they recruit between 20-32 candidates. The eligibility criteria for appearing in the examination have been provided below:

  1. Candidate must be a citizen of India;
  2. Candidate must have completed 3 years as a practising advocate (direct recruitment) with a maximum age limit of 35 years;
  3. Candidate must possess a law degree from recognized university or institution, and must be a confirmed member or approved probationer in section officers, Grade II officers etc. with maximum age limit not exceeding 48 years of age (in case of Recruitment by transfer); and
  4. A 5 years of age relaxation is given to the persons belonging to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes. And 10 years for the physically handicapped.

The pattern of the examination 

Preliminary exam

S.No.

Scheme of exam

Duration

Marks

1.

Screening test (computer-based) Objective type

2 hours

100

Mains exam

S.No

Scheme of examination

Duration

Marks

1.

Civil law

1 hour

100

2.

Criminal law

1 hour

100

3.

English translation and essay writing

1 hour

100

Viva Voice – 50 Marks

Syllabus 

Civil laws

  • Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
  • Indian Contract Act, 1872
  • Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
  • Hindu Succession Act, 1956
  • Indian Easements Act, 1882
  • Specific Relief Act, 1963
  • Limitation Act, 1963
  • Transfer of Property Act, 1882
  • Civil Rules of Practice
  • Registration Act 1908, and the Indian Stamp Act 1899
  • P. Land Encroachment Act, 1905
  • Andhra Pradesh Buildings (Lease, Rent & Eviction) Control Act, 1960
  • Indian Evidence Act, 1872

Criminal Laws

  • Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
  • Indian Penal Code, 1860
  • Indian Evidence Act, 1872
  • Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881
  • Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
  • Criminal Rules of Practice
  • P. Excise Act, 1968
  • P. Gaming Act, 1974
  • Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act

Selection process

The examination takes place in 3-levels. Only after the candidate qualifies in the first selection test, he or she can sit for the main examination. The last determination criteria for declaration of result is the aggregate marks obtained in the personalised interview and the main examination. 

Registration/Filing of application form

The applications are invited by the official website of AP High Court (www.hc.ap.nic.in ) and the candidate has to fill the form online and pay the prescribed fee amount through online only i.e. Debit card, Net banking etc. The prescribed fee may vary from time to time. Well, at present, the fee is Rs. 800 but for the scheduled castes and Schedule tribes, the fee is Rs. 400 only.

Number of seats 

The number of seats varies from year to year depending on the necessity. Generally, they recruit between 20-32 candidates.

Important dates 

Refer to this link for being acknowledged with the dates of the examination for there can be changes in the future and that is the reason the dates are not being mentioned in this article. 

Link to refer: http://hc.ap.nic.in/notifications.html

Books to refer

Although this is not the exhaustive list of books, it is one oneself to understand as to which books to follow and which books are comfortable for whom. Nevertheless, this list can be referred to as a suggestion:

  1. Andhra Pradesh Judicial Services (Preliminary) Examination – The Complete Preparation Manual by Showick Thorpe
  2. Delhi Law Academy’s study material and notes for Andhra Pradesh Judicial Service 
  3. Judicial Service Examination by LexisNexis 

Along with these books individual course books in accordance with the syllabus provided must be followed. 

Perks of being in judicial service 

Indian Judiciary is said to be vacant in search of appropriate judges. Law graduates nowadays are mostly inclined to corporate jobs to have a secured professional and financial life in the future. Not many take the courage to join the Indian Judiciary which is desperately in requirement of responsible and diligent judges. Judicial service examination is one such mode of screening individuals before they hold the responsibility as a judge.

  1. A career in the judiciary is a good option for law graduates. Not only is it a way to remain closely connected with the law throughout your professional life, but also one that offers the satisfaction of working for the good of society.
  2. They enjoy zero political interference in their work coupled with time-bound promotions and fixed tenure.
  3. If selected, the applicant gets posted as an additional district judge which significantly hastens promotion prospects.

Golden rules to crack judicial service examination

Although different levels of the examination require a different kind of strategy as have been mentioned previously, the entire examination requires a lot of dedication and effort. In order to put them in a track of reaching the destination, every individual has to have a strategy otherwise the efforts dedicated go in vain. Every candidate has their individual way of dealing with the exam but some of the strategies that are basic and common to all candidates appearing for the examination are provided below:

Sooner is better

The Judicial Services is a dedicated and responsible set of services that need to be secured by qualifying in the examination held by several states across the nation. Before even knowing how to proceed and planning out the same, the requirement of the will to attend the exam and deliver a 100% accuracy, thereby securing a respectable chair in the Indian Judiciary is essential. Unlike judicial services of other states, Andhra Pradesh judicial services made the 3-year practical experience mandatory for the position of junior civil judge. So, it gives a lot of time to prepare and may also increase the level of competition. Along with practical knowledge, it is also necessary to have the knowledge of textual laws and therefore preparation from the 4th year of a 5-year integrated law course will always be advantageous. 

Devise a preparation strategy that suits you

No books, interviews, courses, advice can help you to prepare a strategy for the examination that suits you. The prelims of this examination checks in objective knowledge on these subjects whereas the finals test how much depth the candidate has gone through while studying for the examination. The final round that is the personality test is a screening by the interviewer to infer how aware the individual is when it comes to the application of the subjects. The major mistake which people often make is to get influenced by someone else’s plan which leads to loopholes in the practice and preparation of his or her own. Such mistakes should be avoided at all costs. 

Topic-wise preparation

As the structure and the syllabus of the examination are concerned, there are several topics that are inclusive in the examination. Preparation should take place individually, topic-wise, to be firm in all topics covered by the exam. Preparation should take place according to the distribution of marks as well. It is wholly upon the candidate to decide on what topics he or she is good in. Although a candidate should be equally good in all the concerned topics but being good in some topics help in securing marks in certain levels of the examination. As English and other regional languages are included in the exam, preparation of the same can be done by reading newspapers on a daily basis to learn new words and rectify grammatical errors. Newspapers also help in broadening the general knowledge level in an individual. Judicial service is one such examination that requires skills in general knowledge for the profession calls for the same. Hence an awareness about general knowledge is always helpful and advantageous.

Dominance over the subject

Law is a vast subject, and one cannot deny the same. An extensive hold on all the bare acts that are included in the syllabus and those beyond it is always acknowledged. This also counts as important for all the levels of the examination starting from the prelims to that of the interview round. Subjects like the Indian Penal Code, Code of Civil Procedure, Evidence Act are taught in law schools in the very beginning. This shows how important they are in order to get to know other statutes. The prelims of this examination checks in objective knowledge on these subjects whereas the finals test how much depth the candidate has gone through while studying for the examination. The final round that is the personality test is a screening by the interviewer to infer how aware the individual is when it comes to the application of the subjects.

Practice and profess

For any competitive examination, the individual must be aware of the pattern in which the examination is conducted in the state. The same has been also mentioned before in the article. Practising previous years’ papers is useful to learn about the standard of the paper along with self-assessing oneself. The shortcomings can be identified by clearing out these papers. The mistakes committed in these papers act as a precedent to avoid such mistakes in further papers and also in the final paper of the examination. The strategy of practising is the best strategy one can adopt to clear any kind of examination.

Guidance

Along with preparation, there is also a need for motivation and seeking guidance as to whether the preparation that is being carried out is on the correct track or not. Therefore guidance from a judicial officer or a successful candidate who has appeared for the exam can be helpful. Their strategies may not be adopted by the others but their strategies can act as a precedent for framing and modifying new strategies.

These are some of the strategies that can be adopted by any candidate appearing for Andhra Pradesh Judicial services. These strategies can create a path to crack the examination and hold an honourable post in the Indian Judiciary.

References


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