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This article is written by Mohd Sarim Khan from Lloyd Law College.

             “Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public” 

                                                                                                          -Cornell West

A Career in Bihar Judicial Services

As a law graduate, we have many options, we can opt to join in house counsel, advocacy, corporate firm, etc. But judicial service is one of the noblest professions in the legal system. Judges are responsible for administrating, interpreting and applying laws and articles of the Constitution. Judicial officers enjoy a sense of security, intellectual and social satisfaction, high self-esteem, work- personal life balance and most importantly a respectable position in society. In spite of this, no position or money can compete with the feeling a judge feels when the parties stand in front of him/her in the hope to get justice. In this Profession, there is a lot of respect and power to decide on the matter relating to the nation.

Cases such as the Nirbhaya Case or Terrorist case which realize the power of the judge. Judges in India seem to be like God for Victims as they solve various critical issues relating to the offenses or serious crimes done by the Convict.

If you are passionate to become a judge and want to deliver justice, then appearing for the 31st Bihar Judicial Services Competitive Examination is a very bright opportunity. 

How to become a Judge in the State of Bihar?

Within the State of Bihar, there are two paths through which one can become a Judge:

  • The first is by appearing and getting selected for the lower judiciary competitive exam conducted by the Bihar Public Service Commission. 
  • Secondly, by appearing for any competitive exam for the Higher Judiciary after litigating for a minimum of 7 years before any High Court / District Court.

The focus of this article shall be upon the civil judiciary services of Bihar.

Frequency of exam

It is conducted yearly or twice a year depending upon the number of vacancies estimated by the Patna High Court. The tentative dates for the 31st Bihar civil judiciary preliminary exam are going to be conducted in July 2020  and the mains exam falls in September 2020.

Number of seats

Bihar is the second most populated state in India with a population of approx 10 crores in which 89% of people are in the rural area. Approximately for every 73,000 people, there is one judge in the State who sorts a huge bundle of cases in the Court. However, with the creation of adequate infrastructure as well as the impending need to finish the pendency of cases in the judiciary, the urgent need to recruit more number of civil judges are constantly being realized by the Patna High Court. This year in 2020, Bihar civil judge PCS J has 221 seats in total. 

Eligibility

The following essential qualifications must be met:

  • The candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • The candidate must be a holder of a degree in Law which is recognized by the Bar Council of India**. 

**Please note that enrolment with the Bar as an Advocate is not a condition for appearing.

The candidate shall attain the minimum age prescribed i.e 22 years from date 01.08.2019. If a candidate crosses the age of 35 years from date 01.08.2018, he shall be ineligible. However, the upper age limit relaxation is of 5 years for Female, P.H category candidates.

Mode of applying

Applications are received online. A candidate is required to register himself or herself as a ‘new user’ on the Bihar Public Service Commission website (http://bpsc.bih.nic.in/).  Who has already registered with the website is required to click on the ‘registered user’ link, available on the website.

The gate of fee payment is through e-payment e.g. Debit Card, Credit Card and Net Banking (Rs. 600 for General Category and Rs. 150 for S.C/S.T/P.H. of Bihar domicile and Rs. 150 for all category Female of Bihar domicile). 

Centers for Examination

Preliminary Examination: Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Buxar, Bhagalpur, Darbhanga, Araria, Aurangabad, Banka, Motihari, Khagaria, Madhubani, Bihar sharif, Patna, Samastipur, Siwan Chhapra, Sahebganj.

Mains and Interview: Patna

Scheme of the Exam

The Preliminary consists of two exams:

  • Preliminary Exam One Consists of two papers-
  • General Science is of 100 marks and has 100 questions.
  • Vidhi law is of 150 marks and has 150 questions.
  • Preliminary ExamTwo Consists of eight papers-
  • General knowledge including current affairs
  • Elementary general science
  • Law of evidence & procedure
  • Constitutional law and administrative law of India
  • Hindu law and Muslim law
  • Law of transfer of property, principal of equity, the law of trust and specific relief
  • Law of contract and tort
  • Commercial law

The second Preliminary exam consists of eight papers all are compulsory to attempt. The candidate has three hours to give the exam.

The result of the preliminary exam is declared within 30-35 days. 

A candidate has approx. 30 days to prepare exclusively for the Mains exam after the preliminary examination.

The mains exam consists of five compulsory papers-

Mains exam consists of eight papers in which five are compulsory without any option and three are optionally selected from the list given in list 2.

List- 1

  • General knowledge including current affairs is of 150 marks.
  • Elementary general science is of 100 marks.
  • General Hindi is of 100 marks.
  • General English is of 100 marks. 
  • The Law of evidence and procedure is 150 marks.

Consisting of five optional papers out of which each candidate has to select three subjects of their own choice.

List-2

  • Constitutional and administrative law of India is of 150 marks.
  • Hindu law and Muhammadan law is of 150 marks.
  • Law of transfer of property, principal of equity, the law of trusts and specific relief is of 150 marks.
  • The Law of contract and tort is 150 marks.
  • Commercial law is of 150 marks.

Candidates have appeared for eight papers of exam in mains in which five papers are compulsory and three are from optional category.

On the basis of the merit list of mains exam, three times of total seats offered candidates are called for the interview. 

An interview is of 100 marks and a minimum of 35 marks are compulsory to pass in the interview otherwise the candidate will be rejected.  

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Syllabus

 QUALIFYING  PRELIMINARY EXAM

  • So far in this First exam of Preliminary, all the question are MCQs based.
  • There is no negative marking in the examination.

S.NO

TOPIC

MARKS

1.

GENERAL SCIENCE

100

2.

LAW

150

 

 PRELIMINARY EXAM

  • So far as Paper-I, Paper-II, Paper-III, Paper-IV, Paper-V, Paper-VI, Paper-VII, Paper-VIII are concerned. The syllabus is for the mains examination.
  • The subjects and syllabus for main (narrative) examination are as follows:

S.NO.

TOPIC

1.

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE INCLUDING CURRENT AFFAIRS

2.

ELEMENTARY GENERAL SCIENCE

3.

LAW OF EVIDENCE & PROCEDURE

4.

CONSTITUTIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW OF INDIA

5.

HINDU AND MOHAMMEDAN LAW

6.

LAW OF TRANSFER OF PROPERTY, PRINCIPAL OF EQUITY, LAW OF TRUST AND SPECIFIC RELIEF

7.

LAW OF CONTRACT & TORTS

8.

COMMERCIAL LAW

Mains Exam

So far as Paper-1, Paper-2, Paper-3, Paper-4, Paper-5 are concerned, the syllabus for the mains examination is the same.

The subjects and syllabus for Preliminary (narrative) examination and marks for each paper are as follows: 

S.NO

TOPIC

CODE

MARKS

PAPER-1.

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE INCLUDING CURRENT AFFAIRS

01

150

PAPER-2.

ELEMENTARY GENERAL SCIENCE

02

100

PAPER-3.

GENERAL HINDI

03

100

PAPER-4.

GENERAL ENGLISH

04

100

PAPER-5.

LAW OF EVIDENCE & PROCEDURE

05

150

 

S.NO

TOPIC

CODE

MARKS

PAPER-6.

CONSTITUTIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW OF INDIA

06

150

PAPER-7.

HINDU LAW & MUHAMMADAN LAW

07

150

PAPER-8.

LAW OF TRANSFER, PRINCIPLES OF EQUITY, LAW OF TRUSTS AND SPECIFIC RELIEF

08

150

PAPER-9.

LAW OF CONTRACTS & TORTS

09

150

PAPER-10.

COMMERCIAL LAW

10

150

 

  • For mains examination, each candidate shall have to select three subjects from Paper-6, Paper-7, Paper-8, Paper-9, Paper-10  

Weightage of each subject and specific strategy

Preliminary Exam                                

Marks: 150 marks

The weightage of the Bihar preliminary exam is mainly considered on general knowledge and general science:

  • General Science and General knowledge
  • Indian Contract Act and Transfer of Property Act in Civil Law II 
  • Hindu law and Muhammadan law
  • Law of contract & tort
  • Commercial law
  • Constitutional and Administrative law of India Constitutional 
  • Law of evidence and procedure

Bihar judiciary focuses mainly on general knowledge and general science very few law subjects are asked in the preliminary exam to try to consider more on the general knowledge. In the whole syllabus of preliminary neither CrPC nor CPC is included it can also be a plus point for the candidates.

After the changes in the question format in Bihar judiciary rather than four multiple answers in question now it is five answers, you have to select one correct answer out of five.

Preliminary exam marks are not counted to get the rank only mains and interview are counted to get final rank. 

Mains Exam

Marks: 1000 marks

The mains exam paper is divided into 2 parts. The first part is compulsory, five papers, while 5 papers are optional.

  • General knowledge and current affairs
  • Elementary general science
  • General Hindi*
  • General English*
  • Law of evidence and procedure 

*General Hindi and General English paper is just to the qualifying exam you need a minimum 30 marks to qualify Hindi and English paper these marks will not be counted in mains.  

Rest the same mains exam also focus on the general knowledge.only 10% of the students will appear in the mains exam and cut off for appearing in mains exam shall be 45% for the reserved category and minimum 40% is must for the general category to appear in the mains exam. The rest three papers are important and count in the mains.

There are five subjects on an optional basis out of which every candidate has to select three subjects to attempt them in the mains exam.

  • Commercial law
  • Constitutional and Administrative law of India Constitutional 
  • Law of evidence and procedure
  • Hindu and Mohammedan law

After the selection of three subjects from the optional list, each candidate has to give the mains exam of eights paper.

Interview

Marks:120 marks

There is huge competition to crack the interview because maximum students are rejected in an interview for not getting a minimum of 35 % marks to get qualified for the interview otherwise you will be rejected.

Bullets Points

  • Bihar judicial exam mainly focuses on general knowledge and general science, while studying law subjects make equal time for general knowledge also. 
  • In the past, the law of Indian Evidence and procedure has proven to be advantageous to candidates who have appeared for the mains examination. 
  • Many questions in the mains exam paper are repeated from the previous year paper, thus, it is not good to ignore while preparing.
  • Carefully read all the illustrations of all Sections of the Bare Act as often questions are directly framed upon them.

Level of Competition

Bihar judicial exam competition level is increasing day by day because the number of students appearing in the exam, now not only students of Bihar but other state law graduates and law students move toward the Bihar judiciary. 

The syllabus pattern of the judicial exam is not very difficult.  Focus is more on procedural law rather than substantive law in the mains exam. One important thing to note is that the preliminary exam is just for qualifying, no marks will be added in the score of the students and only mains and interview will decide the rank of the candidate. The number of students who are appearing from Bihar as well as adjoining areas saw an exponential rise. 

Thus, a great number of seats are offered in the judiciary, which means great numbers of candidates will appear in the exam and the level of competition will be high. Candidates must still be conscious of the fact that the real competition is always between a few serious candidates.

How to Prepare?

The key mantra to crack the BPSC exam is to ‘divide and learn and make continuous extensive revision.’ It is advisable to create a daily basis schedule and cover the entire syllabus in the limited time, so that proper revision can be done, it is not important how much you learned rather how much you retain with you. Adequate time shall be allotted for the revision. 

Ladders to preparation

  • First, pick up the lengthy and relatively difficult laws such as the law of evidence & procedure and commercial law. 
  • Give yourself a time frame of 4-6 months to cover them once. 
  • Cover the following laws together for a better understanding:
  • Contract Law and Specific Relief Act
  • Transfer of Property Act and Hindu Law
  • Commercial law and Indian Evidence Act
  • Whichever subject you choose from optional subjects list, first go through the past year papers of both prelims and mains to have an idea about the types of questions that have been asked in the previous year exam. 
  • Since the preliminary exam comprises MCQs questions, regular revision is extremely important.
  • The best technique to remember the section of the bare act is to attain the skill of framing the questions from it, this skill is acquired by the student once the student has complete clarity of provision of the bare act.
  • Make specific sets of notes to be used for last-minute revision.
  • An attempt at least 10-20 Multiple Choice Questions from the topics that have been covered on a daily basis to regular revision. 
  • The language paper is in both Hindi and English.
  • As general Hindi and general English are also part of the mains exam but for the qualifying nature make some time to give English and Hindi grammar, make a habit to write in Hindi with handwriting.    
  • Daily familiarisation with 10 new words from Hindi vocabulary is advisable along with the revision of Hindi grammar and English essays after the mains exam.
  • Read the editorial section of an English newspaper such as The Hindu, Times of India.

Mistakes to avoid while preparing

  • The preparation of the mains and prelim shall go hand in hand. Focusing more on theory is not a good strategy while MCQs questions are kept for the last days of preparation. 
  • Waste time in collecting and covering a lot of material when the key is to read and revise the same material again and again and never forget that most of the questions are framed directly from the Bare Act. It is more fruitful to make short questions from the provision of the bare act. 
  • Leaving the lengthy laws for the end, first, try to cover short law.  
  • Ignoring past year papers or leaving them only for a reference and sample paper for the end. 
  • Socialization and discussion over the exam spending times are also a fruitful act than actual studying. 

Reference

Website of BPSC: http://bpsc.bih.nic.in/

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