No proposal to introduce competitive exam to select high court judges: Govt in RS

New Delhi: There is no proposal to introduce a competitive examination for the selection of high court judges as they are being appointed according to constitutional provisions, Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said on Thursday.

India has 25 high courts with a sanctioned strength of 1,114 judges and as on July 1, there were 333 vacancies, according to the law ministry’s website.

In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Meghwal said, “There is no proposal to introduce a competitive examination for selection of high court judges as the procedure as per the Constitutional provisions is being followed.” In a sub-question, part of a larger question on high court judges, the minister was asked whether the government is planning to consult the Supreme Court for conducting a competitive examination for appointing HC judges.

Meghwal explained that the appointment of judges of the Supreme Court and the high courts is made under Articles 124, 217 and 224 of the Constitution and as per the procedure laid down in the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) prepared in 1998 following the Supreme Court judgement dated October 6, 1993.

Citing Article 217(2) of the Constitution, he said a person will not be qualified for appointment as a judge of a high court unless he is a citizen of India, has held a judicial office in the territory of India for at least 10 years, has been an advocate of a high court for at least ten years or of two or more such courts in succession.