Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Legal Service on a par with IAS - TOI News

A complete overhaul of the Indian Legal Service is in the offing. The law ministry is preparing a cabinet note for this purpose so as to bring the ILS on a par with the civil services so that the best students out of law schools join the government.

It has started consultations with the department of personnel and training in this regard. A senior ministry official said recruitment will begin early through an entrance examination followed by an interview. Once selected, the officers will be sent for training to National Judicial Academy, Bhopal.

“A new training institute can also be created. We will ask the Indian Law Institute to structure a training programme. The training will be for two years,” the official said. Officers will be placed at various levels, from district courts to the state and central government. “There will be enough flexibility in the service. An officer can decide to join the judiciary for a few years and then come back to the service. He can even go to the higher judiciary,” the official said.

There will also be provision for officers to go to Ivy League universities for further studies at government expense. The salary, the official said, would be on a par with other Group A services. At present, officers are recruited into the Indian Legal Service as and when needed. Most of them are law teachers or lawyers.

The official said two factors have led to the ministry’s decision to overhaul the Indian Legal Service. The first is that the new economy has led to a big rise in the demand for legal officers in various ministries and government bodies and the second is the lack of good legal draftsmen in the government.

The ministry is optimistic that lucrative salaries being paid by private law firms will not be a deterrent. “Law firms are mostly engaged in corporate cases. The main job there entails giving legal advice and preparing for cases. Government being the biggest litigant, the experience will range from cases related to economy to social sector and even political matters.”

Source - Times of India

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