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How to Become Judge: Salary, Facilities, syllabus and eligibility for exam

How to Become Judge: Salary, Facilities, syllabus and eligibility for exam

The post of Judge in India is very respectable and powerful. Lacs of students pass get their Law degree every year and out of them many of young students want to become judges.

In India, judges are at various levels. The trial court judges, Sessions Court Judges, High Court Judges, Supreme Court judges, and judges of various other tribunals. Some administrative officers also do judicial and quasi-judicial work. The process of reaching to these courts is also different. The elementary stage of the office is to reach the lower court which is also called the sub-ordinate courts. They function at the District level and Tehsil/Taluka/Sub-division Level. The lowest or the first post in this job is of Metropolitan Magistrate which reaches to the level of District judges or Registrars of High Courts.

After this level, the post is of High Court Judges who are elevated through a process of elevation by the collegium system.  This is a completely different process and this is the last level of the service. Therefore, we would focus on the entry-level of this service.

To become a judge at the entry level, one must have to complete a law degree, or LLB. Five years of integrated LLB education or three years after graduation from a recognized institution. Thereafter, the candidate is required to register as an advocate with the Bar Council is required.

Now the judicial system works in the country state-wise under the guardianship of the High Court. This system has been developed considering the linguistic, regional and local issues. All the High Courts and the State Government through the State Public Service Commission have adopted separate ways of conducting the exam. This is always in the light of the above-stated local issues. The syllabus is also set according to the states.

Like many states require some years of practice experience, knowledge of the local language, local laws etc. The age criteria is also different in different states but range between 21 to 35.

Every High Court issues an advertisement for the vacant post each year or when the vacancy arises. After the publication of the advertisement, the desirous candidate is required to fill out a form. Earlier there used to be one exam but now the Civil Judge recruitment process consists of three stages. The preliminary examination, main exam, and interview.

To understand the entire exam pattern and the ancillary and incidental things attached to the exam, we would take the Delhi Judicial Service Examination as a Model system:-

As we discussed earlier, the State PSC or the High Court is the authority to conduct these exams.  In the case of Delhi, Delhi High Court is the authority that conducts the exam.

Whenever there are vacancies, a notification is issued to this effect. Like in Delhi the eligibility criteria is Indian national, Law Graduate and Practicing Advocate.

Age Restriction

The age range for Civil Judge Recruitment in Uttar Pradesh is 22 to 35 years. In MP, the age range is 21 to 35. Similarly, the age limit varies from state to state. The DJSE sets an upper age limit of 32 of General Category, 37 for SC/St and 42 for PwD candidate.

Application forms:-

This also varies from State to State. Some of the states provide for offline form whereas other provides for both but now after the Corona Pandemic many states are having complete online process and Delhi is one of them. The application fee is Rs 1000/- for General and OBC candidates and for SC/St/PwD it is 200/-.

The exam has three stages Prelims, Mains and interview. In the prelims since the questions are objective types, it has a negative marking of 0.25 marks.

Educational Requirements

Candidates for Civil Judge exam must have a law degree from a recognized institution. In addition, registration with the Bar Council should be required.


All the states in India provide for reservation for SC/ST, OBC. There are many states which provide reservation for other classes such as women, Pwd, EWS etc.


Rs 56100-1,77,500 is the salary scale. With this salary pay scale House Rent Allowance (HRA, Dearness Allowance (DA), Medical Allowance, Travel Allowance, Pension and gratuity, housing and Vehicle facilities, Leaves and Holidays are also provided. 
This is a package of 15-20 lacs in the beginning.

Talking about the exam pattern in the Prelims there are Multiple Choice Questions. Total 200 questions are there and each correct mark fetches 1 mark whereas each wrong answer makes your final tally by 0.25 marks. The subject for this exam is General Knowledge and Law. Once you clear this, you are eligible for the next round i.e. Main Exam.

The main is descriptive and it has four papers. First Paper is General Legal Knowledge and Language. This is into two parts. GK has 100 marks and Language which includes Essays, Translation and Precis writing has 150 marks making a total of 250 marks. The second paper is of Civil Law-1 which has 200 marks and the third paper is Civil Law-II having 200 marks. The fourth paper is of Criminal Law which has also 200 marks. This makes is 850 marks.

After passing the Mains Exam, the candidates have to appear for an Interview which is a test of Character, personality and suitability for the job.

The final result and the candidates' position is based on the result of the Mains Exam and the interview (Viva-Voice). This positioning matters till the retirement of the candidate since it also decides the seniority among the entire batch.

For the Preliminary Exams the syllabus is as under:-

The Constitution of India
The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
The Indian Penal Code
The Indian Contract Act of 1872
The Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008
The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996
The Indian Evidence Act of 1872
The Specific Relief Act of 1963
The Limitation Act of 1963
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012
The Commercial Courts Act, 2015

For the Mains Examination, the syllabus is:-

Paper 1 - General Legal Knowledge and Language  
Section I - General Legal Knowledge: latest legal affairs as well as the most famous and changing moments in the Indian Legal System such as the introduction of Laws and the Judicial Authorities.
Section II - Language -Essay, Translation, and Precis Writing and evaluation of language skills and expression.

Paper 2 - Civil Law – I
The Indian Contract Act of 1872
The Sale of Goods Act of 1930
The Transfer of Property Act, 1882
The Specific Relief Act of 1963
Hindu Law
Mohammedan Law
The Delhi Rent Control Act of 1958
Law of Torts
The New Delhi Municipal Council Act of 1994
The Delhi Municipal Corporation Act of 1957
The Commercial Courts Act of 2015

Paper 3 - Civil Law – II
The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
The Indian Evidence Act of 1872
The Limitation Act of 1963
The Registration Act of 1908
The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996
The Trade Marks Act, 1999
The Copyright Act of 1957

Paper 4 - Criminal Law: 
The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
The Indian Penal Code
The Indian Evidence Act of 1872
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
The Negotiable Instruments Act of 1881
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015

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