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Henry David Thoreau has rightly quoted

"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

'See you in the court' a phrase that is used in India very often by people. This itself signifies the faith of citizens in the Judiciary. Judiciary is regarded as the protector and guarantor of the rights. As rightly quoted by Sir Henry that what matters is what you have become after achieving your goals and that in the case of most of the law students is 'Judge'.

Judicial Services Examination or the PCS (J) is an exam conducted for law graduates to become a part of the subordinate judiciary. The state governments under the guidance of the respective High Courts designate qualifiers of the competitive exam a post in the subordinate judiciary. Judicial Service Examination is conducted in three successive stages: -

  1. Preliminary Examination
  2. Mains Exam
  3. Viva Voce or Interview

Preliminary Exam

The preliminary examination is a screening for mains exam. It is composed of objective type questions. The main subjects from which questions are asked are: -

  • General Knowledge and Current Affairs
  • The Indian Constitution
  • English Language and Aptitude
  • IPC
  • CrPC
  • Contract Law
  • Law of Torts
  • CPC
  • Indian Evidence Act
  • Certain subjects may differ on the basis of state's syllabus.

The marks obtained in this exam are regarded as the qualifying marks for the mains. These are generally not counted for the final selection. Preliminary Test requires both exhaustive & intensive study of bare acts along with the illustrations.

Mains Exam

The mains examination is of subjective nature i.e. it is a written test. The exam consists of three to four papers on Civil Law, Criminal Law and on Language. The marks secured by the candidates are considered for the final selection. Generally, candidates equal to three times the number of vacancies is called for an interview. So, it requires a selective and comparative study particularly on the basis of the frequently asked questions

Viva Voce / Interview

The final stage of the selection procedure where candidates are evaluated on general interest, personality and intelligence among other factors. During this procedure, the candidate should be well aware of the current affairs and contemporary legal issues.

Certain Tips for preparation of Judiciary Exam are: -

1. GK, Legal Knowledge and Current Affairs - Read News Papers, Magazines like Pratiyogita Darpan etc. regularly. Always, keep an eye on the latest Judgments delivered by the Supreme Court and the High Courts. This will help in understanding the application of law.

2. Bare Acts - Bare Acts always act like a game changer. For Preliminary Examination, it is a basic necessity. The candidate should be thorough with the statutory provisions particularly procedural law i.e., CPC, CrPC and the Indian Evidence Act. Many a time, direct question is asked on the Section or Article pertaining to a statutory provision. While reading a bare act, firstly read its definition clause, then break it into parts and then read. Special emphasis should be laid on the words like “and”, “or”, “may”, “shall”, “should” etc.

3. Prepare Notes in Own Language - Last time saviours are the notes prepared by a person. Notes should cover all the legal ingredients & essentials. Latest judicial pronouncements along with the Ratio-Decidendi should be mentioned. This gives outlined and comprehensive knowledge of the legal topic. This also helps in boosting up the self-confidence.

4. Previous Year Question Paper - Practice as much mocks one could. This helps in giving an idea of the type of questions that can be asked. There are many books available in the market that deal with subject wise previous year questions. Questions help in clarifying the concept of laws. This also helps in mastering the art of time-management.

5. For Language Paper - Read standard books of Grammar of the language concerned along with News-Papers, Magazines and Judgments by the Hon'ble Supreme Court and the Hon'ble High Court/s. It helps in preparing for précis-writing, Essay Writing and translation asked in exam.

6. Approach for Answer Writing

Background of the answer should be prepared first before writing an answer of law. Three important principles while writing an answer are: -

(1) What law states?
(2) Illustration mentioned in Bare Act or relevant case laws and
(3) logical conclusion.

Therefore, follow either IRAC or CREAC. Clarity and proper application of law should be visible in the answer. Answer should be supported with relevant case laws and persuasive examples or illustrations.

Books Suggested:

  1. Book on IPC by K D Gaur, Ratanlal & Dhirajlal, PSA Pillai
  2. Contract and Specific Relief by Avatar Singh
  3. Law of Torts by R K Bangia
  4. CPC by C K Takwani
  5. Constitution by V N Shukla
  6. CrPC by R V Kelkar.
  7. Evidence by Ratan Lal and Dhiraj Lal, Batuk Lal
  8. Muslim law by Aqil Ahmad.

Judicial Services Examination demands a focused mind with a planned and outlined framework. It would not be wrong to say that

Ambition + Dedication = Achievement

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