Amend Judicial Recruitment Rules

While on the one hand, creation of new posts and according promotions to the eligible candidates by the Common High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as Munsifs or Civil Judges (Junior Division) is a good development, on the other hand, how to fill these posts has become not that easy due to host of reasons which, we are afraid, by now should have already been addressed, resolved and thus provided for. The rules as on date about the procedure to fill up the posts including the academic qualifications for eligibility to become a Munsif, under reference, are governed by Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Judicial) Recruitment Rules 1967 wherein it is clearly mentioned that it can be done only on the basis of the outcome of taking of the examination conducted by Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission . While it can be carried on smoothly in Jammu and Kashmir, however, the same cannot hold good for the UT of Ladakh following constitutional changes of October 2019. Should, therefore, the candidates / promotees in respect of UT of Ladakh be deprived of their right is the fear rightly nursed by them but the same is duly taken note of by the Common High Court that no disparity should be there with the UT of Ladakh.
In this connection, again, the same immediate alternative which appears to address the likely emergence of the disparity with Ladakh for whatever measure of time, is to have the process for candidates from Ladakh too to come under the umbrella of the existing Civil Services (Judicial) Recruitment Rules of 1967 in Jammu and Kashmir for the time being but only after an amendment was carried out. The same views , we have, earlier put forward in respect of the problems created in the UT of Ladakh for aspirants for Gazetted posts vis-a-vis a separate Public Service Commission having not been constituted there so far during two and a half years of Ladakh becoming a UT hence a joint PSC for both the UTs for the time being would not deprive Ladakhi candidates from exercising their legal and democratic rights of facing competitive examination through the process of PSC to be recruited and selected in the Gazetted cadre which are otherwise available for J&K candidates.
However, in this connection, the Common High Court can have jurisdiction over both the UTs. Therefore, the onus has felt again on the Common High Court which has found out an easy way by suggesting an amendment to the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Judicial) Recruitment Rules 1967 and accordingly sent to the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
We feel, looking to the feasibility of the issue and to overcome the shortage of judicial officers in our courts, the department concerned must examine the proposal with an aim to make way for filling up of these posts and convey its acquiesce to the proposal at the earliest. Not only that the matter assumes importance of its own due to the measures required at whatever level to overcome the shortage of Judicial Officers in the courts and to have less of pendency of undecided cases but also in the overall interests of the unemployed but otherwise eligible candidates in whatever department for filling up various vacant posts or newly created ones. That would give a wider feel of the UT Government being fully conscious of resolving personnel matters as that were related to livelihood / earned eligibility for due promotions and the like.