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Plea To Improve Judicial Training : Supreme Court Gives Liberty To Former District Judge To Give Suggestions To National Judicial Academy

Shruti Kakkar
21 Jan 2022 9:41 AM GMT
Plea To Improve Judicial Training : Supreme Court Gives Liberty To Former District Judge To Give Suggestions To National Judicial Academy
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The Supreme Court today granted Alok Verma, Former Additional District Judge of Madhya Pradesh, liberty to submit his suggestions pertaining to improving the quality of training imparted by Madhya Pradesh State Judicial Academy to the Director, National Judicial Academy.The Court found the petitioner's suggestions "worthy of consideration".The bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh...

The Supreme Court today granted Alok Verma, Former Additional District Judge of Madhya Pradesh, liberty to submit his suggestions pertaining to improving the quality of training imparted by Madhya Pradesh State Judicial Academy to the Director, National Judicial Academy.

The Court found the petitioner's suggestions "worthy of consideration".

The bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari was dealing with a Special Leave Petition assailing Madhya Pradesh High Court's order in the writ petition filed by him seeking upgradation of the standards of pedagogy and strict adherence to the fixed curriculum for imparting meaningful training to the judicial officers of all cadre of State. The High Court had disposed of the writ petition giving liberty to the petitioner to give his suggestions to the Director of the Madhya Pradesh State Judicial Academy, Jabalpur.

The Top Court also asked the National Judicial Academy to process the petitioner's suggestions by placing it before the appropriate Committee and thereafter issuing appropriate communication to the Judicial Academy.

While disposing the SLP, the bench in its order said,

"The thrust of the issue raised in the petition pertains to improving the quality of training imparted by the concerned Judicial Academy. As we find that the suggestions are worthy of consideration, we permit the petitioner to submit this suggestion in writing to the Director of National Judicial Academy who in turn may process the same by placing it before the appropriate committee & spending time on the recommendations made and issue appropriate communication to concerned Judicial Academy in the respective state."

Courtroom Exchange

When the matter was called for hearing, Advocate Prashant Bhushan for the petitioner submitted that the curriculum formulated by the Academy for imparting training to the judicial officers was the same as that of law school. He further contended that a letter was also addressed to the Director of the Academy as well as the Chief Justice of the High court.

"We had actually given the director of the Academy feedback form of the training. Training of Judicial Officers should be appropriate and for their best performance. Now what is happening is that the curriculum that has been made in the MP Judicial Academy is the same as that of law school. Judicial officers need not undergo this," Bhushan further submitted.

Expressing their inclination of granting petitioners the liberty to forward the suggestions to the National Judicial Academy, the bench said, "These are matters which cannot be debated on the judicial side. There are Committees formed at the High Court level and the National Judicial Academy also gives suggestions."

"It's like asking CBSE to have a particular type of program only. We'll ask the committee to consider the suggestions within the particular time. Academic committee constituted by the National Judicial Academy will look into it. That will be independent authority to look into it," the bench further remarked.

Accordingly, the bench allowed the petitioner to make representation to the National Judicial Academy.

While Bhushan sought liberty to approach the High Court or Top Court pursuant to submission of suggestions to the National Judicial Academy, the bench remarked, "What will be implemented will be decided by the Committee and not just what you are saying."

Case Before High Court

Alok Kumar, Former Additional. District Judge M.P. had approached the High Court for the upgradation of the standards of the Pedagogy and strict adherence to the fixed curriculum for imparting meaningful training to the judicial officers of all cadre of State.

The relief for establishment of an independent Monitoring Committee under the supervision of Hon'ble High Court for the assessment of quality at Madhya Pradesh State Judicial Academy Jabalpur was also sought in the petition.

The bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla while disposing of the writ petition had said,

"This Court is cognizant of the fact that the Madhya Pradesh State Judicial Academy, Jabalpur prepares the academic calendar for the complete year and it has already prepared such calendar for the year 2021, where not only the training programmes for the newly recruited Judicial Officers are finalized but the Refresher Courses, Colloquium, Seminars and Interactive Sessions for the District & Session Judges, District Judges (Entry Level), Chief Judicial Magistrates (Senior Civil Judges), Civil Judges Class-I, Civil Judges Class-II (Entry Level), Judges dealing with Motor Accident Claim Cases, the Presiding Officers of the Family Court, the Presiding Officers of the Courts dealing with cases under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, the Presiding Officers of the Commercial Courts, the Presiding Officers of the Labour Courts and Industrial Courts, the Presiding Officers of the Court dealing with the cases under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and workshops on variety of subjects such as Cyber Laws & Electronic Evidence, Motor Accident Claim cases, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, Land Acquisition Laws, Juvenile Justice, Electricity Act, 2003, Anti-Corruption Laws, Family Laws, Forest & Wild Life Laws, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and the Specialized Educational Programmes at State Forensic Science Laboratory,Sagar and State Medico Legal Institute, Bhopal etc. are also finalized.

Apart from imparting training to the Judicial Officers and District Judges, the Madhya Pradesh State Judicial Academy also provides training to the Advocates on a variety of subjects including on e-Court project."

The High Court had also granted Kumar liberty to give his suggestions to the Director of the Madhya Pradesh State Judicial Academy, Jabalpur for upgradation of the standards of training as to in what manner the standards of training can be further improved and upgraded to be taken into consideration by the competent Authority.

Case Title: Alok Kumar v. MP State Judicial Academy & Anr| SLP(C) No. 16462/2021

Click here to read/download the High Court judgment

Click Here To Read/Download Supreme Court Order


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