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This article is written by Shoronya Banerjee from Amity University, Kolkata. It deals with certain details related to Punjab judicial services and ways of cracking the examinations.


In India, where having a government job is highly respected, and where government officers get perks and benefits unique to them, the judicial services are a much sought after career option. Usually, judicial service examinations conducted by a state are of two kinds that are lower judicial service exams and higher judicial service exams. For lower judicial service exams, fresh law graduates can apply and on passing it, get appointed as judges in the District Courts. These exams are conducted by the public service commission of that particular state. In case of higher judicial service exams practising and experienced lawyers can apply for it. Lawyers who apply to this exam must have had practised for at least a minimum of seven years. But it still depends on the discretion of many states. The Punjab Judicial Services Exam is collectively organised by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana and the Punjab Public Service Commission for the recruitment of civil judges. It is usually conducted in 3 stages: 

  1. Preliminary examination
  2. Mains (Subjective / Descriptive).
  3. Viva-Voce (Personal interview)

The aspirants wanting to sit for the Punjab Judicial Services Examinations must keep a close tab on their official website   ( and ) for further notifications. 

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Punjab Judicial Service eligibility criteria and age limit

 Required qualifications

  • Aspirants must have a bachelor degree in law from any of the recognized universities in India and must be qualified to be an advocate under the Advocate Act, 1961. The degree can be obtained from the Punjab University (undivided), The Tribhuvan University, Nepal, the Dacca University, and the Rangoon University, or Sindh University or the Mandalay University in Burma. 
  • Candidates who are Barristers of Ireland or England or members of the Faculty of Advocates of Scotland are also qualified.
  • Aspirants must have Punjabi skills till Matric or any equivalent. 


  • The candidate must be an Indian citizen, or
  • Candidates must be a subject of Bhutan, or
  • Aspirants must be a Nepali citizen, or
  • Candidate must be a person who is of Indian origin and has migrated from Burma, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zaire, Malawi, and Zambia with the intent of settling on a permanent basis in India, or
  • He/she must be a refugee from Tibet who entered India prior to the date of 1st January 1962 with the intent of settling on a permanent basis in India.
  • Apart from Indian candidates, others have to provide an eligibility certificate issued by the Indian Government in order to obtain the appointment letter for the position.

Age limit

  • The lower age limit and the upper age limit of the candidate is 21 and 37 years as of the last submission date of the application form. 
  • The upper age limit for all the Central/States Government employees is extended to 45 years of age.
  • The upper age limit for the candidates applying under the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes of all States and Backward Classes only of Punjab are relaxed till 42 years.
  • The upper age limit for Physically Handicapped persons who have Punjab Domicile is extended up to 47 years.
  • The upper age limit for Divorced women, widows, and other specific categories of women is relaxed until 42 years.
  • Allowances in terms of age limit are offered to the ex-servicemen of the Domicile of Punjab. They are allowed to calculate their age by deducting the years they have provided in the service of the Armed Forces of Union. If the age calculated does not exceed more than three years of the upper age limit for the post concerned, then the candidates are eligible to appear for the examination.

Tips to succeed in the exams at one go 

Preparing a strategy for studying

Success entails hard work, efficiency, intelligent planning, and strategizing. One should have a planned and intelligent study schedule, wherein you divide your time among the various topics and keep an aim of covering the whole syllabus. Consistency does count. One has to keep on revising the concepts and topics to have a good hold on it. The candidate should also give a lot of importance to CPC, CrPC and IPC. One must begin his/her preparation well in time.

Attempt mock tests

Yes, self-study cannot be ignored but an aspirant should also give mock tests as they make one aware about the question pattern, teaches one time management, instils confidence and therefore, puts one into this format and habit of attempting such papers with utmost accuracy and confidence.

Being consistent is the key

There is no alternative to being consistent, studying carefully, revising and attempting mock tests. Periodical revisions can prove to be extremely helpful in retaining the topic. One has to practise writing long answers and also refer to past year question papers. Reading daily and keeping oneself aware of current affairs and judgements is very crucial.

Subject-wise preparation is a must

The number of statutes included in the syllabus requires the candidates to have a good grasp overall and not get confused about anything. Analyzing the nature of topics one can arrange it accordingly and then study as per the arrangement. But this again requires revision as well. One can also access the whole syllabus, refer to the past year question papers and arrange the topics which are given a lot of weightage to study accordingly. 

Importance of what to study in the last few days

Last few days are for efficiently revising study notes and important topics as per the planned schedule. Nothing new should be incorporated at the last moment. Starting new topics in the last few days can hamper the time allotted for revising the old topics, put forth new doubts that cannot be cleared for the shortage of time, there is usually no time left for revising the new topics and it can also give rise to more confusion. One must surely study all the important marked topics and revise them very well before the exam. Last few days must be utilised for clearing doubts and brushing up last-minute preparations for the exam. 

Certain mistakes that are to be avoided

  • Focussing on the theoretical study is good but one shouldn’t avoid MCQs. MCQs are good for preparing for the preliminary examinations, quick revisions and also self-assertion about how well one knows a particular topic.
  • The last-minute till the final day of the examinations should be used efficiently. Overconfidence is not good. 
  • Do not ignore past year papers or leave them for the last moment.
  • Before beginning preparations, one must carefully articulate a study schedule and routine making sure that all the topics are carefully covered. Intelligent planning is essential. Preparing without a study routine can be an impediment for achieving good results. 


  • The preliminary examinations are conducted for the purpose of shortlisting candidates who can appear in the main examinations. The Preliminary examinations are usually based on main subjects of law, current affairs, Indian legal and Constitutional history and governance and general reasoning and general aptitude.
  • No candidate is usually allowed to appear in the main examination unless he/she secures minimum 150 marks (read 100 marks for all reserved category candidates) in the preliminary examination out of 500 marks.
  • The main examination incorporates 5 papers which consists of civil law, criminal law, English and Punjabi language. The syllabus which is liable to alteration is given below:

Civil law ( Papers I and II)

  • Code of Civil Procedure,
  • Punjab Courts Act,
  • Indian Contract Act,
  • Indian Sales of Goods Act,
  • Indian Partnership Act,
  • Specific Relief Act,
  • Transfer of Property Act 1882,
  • East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act 1949
  • Indian Evidence Act
  • Hindu Law,
  • Mohammedan Law
  • Customary Law,
  • Law of Registration and Limitation.

Criminal law (Paper III) 

  • Indian Penal Code,
  • Criminal Procedure Code and
  • Indian Evidence Act.

English (Paper IV) 

  • English essay, 
  • Precis, 
  • Words and phrases (make sentences of the given words and phrases), Comprehension, 
  • Corrections

Punjabi (Paper V) 

  • Language- Punjabi in Gurmukhi Script

Important dates

For the uncertainty about the date of examinations, one must regularly check their official sites for being updated and notified about the exact date for the beginning examinations and the required steps to be taken. One can refer to: 


Books to refer

There are several books to follow for the examination, but one must include choosing proper books within their preparation strategy as well since one must be sure of what type of books they are comfortable with. Some suggestions for books to be referred: 

  • Punjab Civil Services Judicial Examination Judicial Branch Solved Papers:  Meenu Jain, Harish K Chhabra
  • Universal’s Punjab and Haryana Superior Judicial Service Examination (Solved Papers): Narender Kumar (Universal Law Publishing an imprint of LexisNexis)
  • Guide to Punjab & Haryana Judicial Service (Preliminary) Examination: Dr. P. K Pandey
  • Essays for Civil and Judicial Services Examinations 2019  (English, Paperback): A.P. Bhardwaj 
  • Lexis Nexis’s Guide to Judicial Service Examination by Universal – 15th Edition August 2020


The time spent while preparing for the judicial services is a crucial one and if one utilises it effectively, then he/she can go into the exam confidently and crack it at one go. All the Punjab Judicial Services aspirants must also keep a continuous check on the official websites as has been provided above. Here’s wishing all the aspirants good luck!

If you are interested in creating a foolproof strategy for your judiciary preparation, sign up for a judiciary preparation workshop that we are conducting on 14th December for more insights. 

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