(1) Appointments of persons to be, and the posting and promotion of, district judges in any State shall be made by the Governor of the State in consultation with the High Court exercising jurisdiction in relation to such State.

 

(2) A person not already in the service of the Union or of the State shall only be eligible to be appointed a district judge if he has been for not less than seven years an advocate or a pleader and is recommended by the High Court for appointment.

Debate Summary

Draft Article 209A (Article 232) was debated on 16th September 1949. It was not initially included in the Draft Constitution of India, 1948. Instead, the Chairman of the Drafting Committee proposed to insert the following as Draft Article 209A:

“(1) Appointments of persons to be, and the posting and promotion of district judges in any State shall be made by the Governor of the State in consultation with the High Court exercising jurisdiction in relation to such State.

(2) A person not already in the service of the Union or of the State shall only be eligible to be appointed as district judge if he has been for not less than seven years an advocate or a pleader and is recommended by the High Court for appointment.”

 

The proposed Draft Article regulated the procedure and qualifications for appointment of district judges.

 

One member wanted to amend clause (2) so that lawyers or pleaders can only be appointed as district judges if they have been enrolled with the High Court of the relevant state for at least seven years. He argued that district judges must understand the local customs and traditions, and it would be difficult for persons from outside the province to have this knowledge. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee responded that the amendment was unsuitable because it introduced provincialism and also would make it more difficult to recruit an appropriate candidate. This amendment was rejected.

 

Another member wanted to delete ‘posting and promotion’ of district judges from clause (a), to restrict the power of the Governor only to appointments. He argued that only High Courts should have a say in transfer and promotion of district judges, as a similar provision existed for subordinate judges. The Chairman rejected this amendment, pointing out that district judges had previously been appointed at the sole discretion of the Governor. The Draft Article brought the High Court into the equation and was a suitable compromise. The Assembly also rejected this amendment.

 

The Draft Article was adopted on 16th September 1949.