Vacancy of Post

Reports support the fact that the vacancy of the post of high court judge has increased by 5% in the last decade.

Vacancy of the post of high court judge – how to apply and get selected

The Public Service Commission of a state organizes an annual judiciary exam to fill up state judiciary post vacancies. The mode of applying and appearing for the exam is online. The interview process has remained unchanged for a long time. The first round comprises an online written test or the preliminary examination. Then the shortlisted candidates have to sit for the main examination, the rules of which are conveyed through the Public Service Commission official website. Finally, the vacancy of the post in state judiciary is filled by a candidate who is selected in the final interview round. To prepare for the examination one needs to go through the study materials mentioned on the website.

Estimated number of State Judiciary Post Vacancies

The actual number of vacancies varies each year and the Indian Parliament sets the requirements. About 60% of the seats are open to all the applicants while the rest of the positions are reserved. While enrolling for a reserved quota, the applicant must scan and produce necessary documents. 

State Judiciary Post Vacancies – how is it determined? 

A high court must start making a memorandum at least six months after a potential vacancy of the post of a high court judge. This is sent to the Chief Justice of India and later on to the President for final approval. After receiving the collegium’s verdict, it takes another six to seven months for the whole appointment procedure to finish. The vacancy of the post in state judiciary depends on varying workloads in different High Courts. Since 1987, the Law Commission of India has become more conscious regarding its duty to supply adequate effective manpower to all the state-level courts. This appeared to be essential provided that a huge number of pending cases accumulated in many densely populated states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, etc. In course of time, certain analytical formulae like the judge to people ratio, case disposal rate, caseload procedure, and weighted case method (time-based) evolved that furnishes exactly how many posts need to be manned for smooth operation. 

Educational criteria 

The scope of getting placed in one of the state judiciary post vacancies may seem to be a bit challenging. However, there are a few basic criteria that one needs to fulfill before applying for the preliminary round. 

  • The aspirant must hold a bachelor’s Law degree. The certificate must be issued by a recognized university. 
  • The person should be a part of the bar council. 
  • The candidate should be adept in reading, writing, and speaking the local state language other than Hindi and English. 

Age Barrier 

  • Age is a critical factor as those above 35 years of age are not allowed to apply for any vacancy for the post of a high court judge. The minimum age requirement is 23 years as of 2020. The Law Commission of India allows age relaxation for reserved candidates. 
  • The details about age relaxation are clearly stated on the official website of the state Public Service Commission. Usually, SC/ST groups get an allowance of 5 years while disabled individuals can sit for the examination till 45 years of age. 

The reason behind the increased vacancy of the post of a high court judge 

The Parliament of India has currently sanctioned the high courts with a requirement of 1080 judges. The latest reports suggest that the high courts are operating with a strength of 61% and this percentage seems to be alarming. The number of pending cases is increasing over the years which calls for urgency in the appointment.

The process is however not that simplified as large quantities of recommendations from various states are yet to reach the collegium. In this regard, the Standing Committee has asked both the parties – the collegiums and the Intelligence Bureau to speed up the cumbersome recruitment process. The appointment gets delayed as the time limits in each stage be it sending preferred names to the Union Law Commission or getting the final approval of the Parliament is rarely executed in stipulated time frames.

 Another factor causing the disproportion in the allocation of judges is the uneven concentration in filling up the state judiciary post vacancies. 


The high court judges are recommended by following the consensus of the Chief Justice of the High Court and his bench. The names reach the CJI and other judges of the Supreme Court. Then the collegiums take the ultimate decision by the President of India. The Indian Government has emphasized the requirement of judges in high courts across the country to fill up more than 35% of the vacancy. Based on merit limit the vacancies can be filled up even if the concerned candidates do not have enough prior experience.


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