How To Become a judge in India? Eligibility, Judiciary Exam Preparation & More

Judiciary plays a paramount role in effectuating law and order in the country.

To behold the highest and most respectable position of a Judge, One must be a law graduate and either qualify Judicial Service Examination or would practice as a lawyer, get appointed as a sub-judge and later gets promoted to the position of a Judge.

Initially, You need to accomplish a degree in law.
To be eligible for the position of a judge, you will have to hold a degree in law, either LLB or LLM from a government or Bar-Council approved university. Being a Lawyer is important before proceeding to be a judge. Being lawyer means to hold a degree in law and not compulsorily practised it to be an advocate.

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Judiciary in India

  • Though in India, Polity is duality; an integrated Judicial system Is established by the Constitution of India. For Entire republic of India, Judicial System is unified.
  • Indian Judiciary is incorporated by three stages; 
    • Supreme Court
    • High Court and
    • Sub-ordinate court.
  • It acts as an independent body and in no way is connected to executive. It is headed by a Judge.  

Who Is a Judge?

A law can’t be simply implemented by releasing it or mentioning it in the constitution. It is the responsibility of judicial system, which is superintended by a Judge. 

The judge is the person responsible for presiding over the proceedings in a court and release the pertinent decision solely on the basics of evidences presented. This position holds the topmost authority in a court and is executive of making the final verdict.

There are three parts of the story; two- assured by the lawyers of either sides to be the truth and third one is actually truth.
Being a judge, you should be unbiased and not have impose evidences to prove it to be truth like lawyers. Rather make the verdict in the favour of the third; the actual truth, impartially.

Who Can Be A Judge or Magistrate?

Now that we are familiar with utility of a Judge, lets know what are the eligibility criteria to be a judge.

  • Age: The age of the candidate applying to be a judge should neither be less than 21 years not more than 35 years.
  • Educational Qualification: The applying candidate should retain a degree in law. 

Who all are Eligible to become a judge?


Age criteria

Experience required

Law Graduates (Freshers)

21-25 years

They must possess degree in law (LL.B or LL.M) with minimum 60% marks for (general category) and 55% marks for (reserved category)

Advocate or Attorney

21-35 years

Alongwith possessing a degree in law, candidates must have practiced as Advocate or Attorney the high / subordinate courts.

Members of ministerial staff to high court

21-45 years

They require minimum 3 years of service after the accomplishment of their degree in law.

Members of ministerial staff to courts subordinate to High Court

21-45 years

They require minimum 3 years of service after the accomplishment of their degree in law.

Staff members working as Legal Assistant or above in the Law and Judiciary Department in Ministry.

21-45 years

They require minimum 3 years of service after their accomplishment of their degree in law.

Minister staff members to the Office of the Govt. Pleaders attached to courts.

21-45 years

They require a Minimum 3 years of service after their accomplishment  their degree in law.

Judicial Service / Professional civil service-Judicial exam (PCS-J) Examination

Not everyone prefers to become an advocate or a corporate lawyer after acquiring their Law degree. Some plump to skip the queue to sit on the most honourable seat in the court. 

Yes, I’m talking about aiming for the judge’s chair right after your completing your graduation. For that, you need to attempt and qualify the Judicial Services Examination. 

Judicial Service examination is an entry-level test for the law graduates to get into the prestigious department of judiciary to be a judge. It is individually conducted by 24 states of India to appoint their judicial officials under the supervision of the Hon’be highcourt and state government. 

The Legal Service Examination is also conducted via two ways;

  • Lower Judiciary Services- You need to hold a degree in LLB, enrol as an advocate under the Advocates’ Act 1961 to be eligible for appearing in the Examination. No working experience is required and even final year students can also appear for the exam.
  • Higher Judiciary Services– You must be graduate in law and have a minimum seven years of litigating practice for appearing for the Higher Judiciary Services Exam. 

States wise Judiciary Exam to Become judge in india

Jurisdiction Service examination is held individually by 24 states of India. Frequently visit them to stay updated with the latest information released. The name of the examination along with its official website for reference is provided below ;

Preparing for a coveted examination like PCSJ demands you to be modus operandi !!
You need to be very clear and concise about your exertions. It should always begin with complete understanding followed by planning. Now that you are cognizant of the importance of the role PCSJ plays in the avenue towards your goal being a Judge, 

Let us get into the next step.
To excel in any examination, manifest knowledge about the exam pattern and syllabus is must. Let me make you acquainted with it.

Judicial Service Exam / PCS(J) Pattern and Syllabus

The Judicial Service Exam is conducted under 3 phases:

Phase 1: Prelims exam

It is an Objective (MCQs), qualifying type exam requiring minimum 60% marks for general category while 55% marks for the reserved category to qualify prelims and manoeuvre to Mains.

Preliminary Exam comprises of the questions from General Knowledge; Current affairs; English Language- proficiency and Aptitude; IPC, CPC, CrPC, Indian Evidence Law; Contractual and Tort Law; Constitutional Law; Transfer of Property Law. Barring from them, some states include certain other topics as follow:

  • Bihar includes Hindu and Muslim personal laws, laws of trust, principle of equity, commercial law, specific relief act, elementary general science, administrative law.
  • Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir , Maharashtra , Manipur and Nagaland encompasses Proficiency in the official language of Assam.
  • Chhattisgarh considers accommodation Control Act, registration act, Chhattisgarh land Revenue Code, Court fees Act and specific relief acts.
  • Delhi includes principles governing Arbitration law And the partnership act.
  • Madhya Pradesh includes accommodation Control Act and Maharashtra land Revenue Code.
  • Kerala also includes Kerala building act.
  • Goa takes in the consideration Sales of goods act, land laws of Goa, the prevention of atrocities Act

Phase 2: Mains Exam

It is subjective type of exam. Different states’ syllabus for the The Judicial Service Examination varies and they include different topics and subjects as follows:

  • Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Maharashtra, and Jammu & Kashmir
    Paper I: English evaluation test
    Essay, precise writing, Grammar (100 marks, 2 hours)
    Paper II; General Knowledge evaluation test
    Objective type test for Aptitude (100 marks,2 hours)
    Paper III: Fundamental Law knowledge evaluation test
    Transfer of Property, Civil procedure code, Indian Contract Act, Constitution of India (100 marks,2 hours)
    Paper IV: Law Evaluation Test
    Indian Penal Code, CrPC, Law of Torts, Indian Evidence Act (100 marks,2 hours)
  • Bihar
    I – Compulsory Paper:
    It comprises question from General knowledge and current affairs (150 marks), Science- Elementary level (100marks), Fundamental Hindi (100 marks ), Fundamental English(100 marks ) and Law of Evidence and Procedure( 150 marks)
    Hindi and English are compulsory, qualifying papers.
    Part II- Optional paper:
    It comprises questions from Constitutional Law of India and England(150 marks), Hindu and Muslim Law(150 marks), laws related to Transfer of property(150 marks) , Principles of Equity(150 marks), Law of trusts and Specific Relief Act(150 marks), Law of Contract and Torts(150 marks) and Commercial law(150 marks)
  • Chhattisgarh
    It comprehends question of :
    Framing of issues and writing judgment in Civil Cases (40 marks)
    Framing of charges and writing of judgment in Criminal Cases (40marks)
    English to Hindi and Hindi to English Translation for (10 marks)
  • Delhi
    Paper I- General Knowledge and Language:
    It has questions from Current affairs, Essay, Translation, and precise writing for (250 marks)
    Paper II- Civil Law I:
    It has questions from Indian Contract Act, Indian Sale of Goods Act, Indian Partnership Act, Specific Relief Act, Hindu Law, Muslim Law, Delhi Rent control Act and Law of Torts (200 marks)
    Paper III- Civil law II:
    It has questions from Civil Procedure Code, Law of evidence, Law of Limitation and Law of Registration (200 marks)
    Paper III- Criminal Law:
    Criminal Procedure Code, Indian penal code and Indian Evidence Act (200 marks)
  • Goa
    Paper I:
    It comprises of the questions from The Indian Contract act, 1872, The Specific Relief Act, 1963, The Limitation Act, 1963, Sales of Goods Act, 1930, Indian Partnership Act, 1932, The Code of Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Transfer of Property Act, 1882, The Easement Act,1882, Family Laws in Goa , Land Laws in Goa
    Paper II:
    It comprises of the questions from The code of Criminal procedure Code, 1973, The Indian Penal Code, 1860 The Evidence Act,1872, The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, Essay on Current Legal Topics
  • Haryana and Punjab
    Paper I- Civil Law I
    It has questions from Code of Civil procedure, Punjab Courts Act, Indian Contract Act, Indian Sale of Goods Act, Indian Partnership Act, Specific Relief Act for (200 marks)
    Paper II-Civil Law II
    It has questions from Hindu Law, Muslim Law and Customary Law, Law of Registration and Limitations (200 marks)
    Paper III- Criminal Law
    It has questions from Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal procedure, Indian Evidence Act (200 marks)
    Paper IV- English
    It has questions from four following topics:
    Essay (25 marks)
    Words and phrases (25 marks)
    Comprehension (25 marks)
    Corrections (25 marks)
    Paper V- Language:
    Questions from Hindi in Devanagari Script (150 marks)
  • Uttar Pradesh
    Paper I- General knowledge:
    It has questions related to History of India and Indian Culture, Geography of India, Indian Polity, Indian economy, international affairs
    Paper II- Law:
    It has questions from the topic Jurisprudence, International Organizations, Indian constitution, Transfer of property, Indian Evidence Act, Code of criminal procedure, Code of Civil procedure, Contract laws

Phase 3: Interview

Qualified Students are called for the Interview Round in which the candidates are assessed on their Overall Personality and Intelligence.
The Candidates’ Logical, Legal Reasoning; Basic Knowledge; Current Affairs’ awareness; and Presence of mind is tested.

The best way to start preparing for the Judiciary Exam is by integrating Prelims and Mains Preparation, This is made possible by Edzorb Law.

Learn more about Edzorb Law’s Integrated approach –

The Non-Judicial Services Exam Method to become judge in india

Now that we are done with the traditional method of attaining a position; qualifying an entrance exam, What if you couldn’t crack the exam?? 

Don’t worry, your judge’s chair can still be acquired. 

If you are a reputed advocate with an experience of more than 10 years in higher-level courts, you still have the opportunity to directly come into the possession of your dream position.

You can be directly appointed by the President of India after the recommendation from the collegium of Judges.


Now that we know practice makes a man perfect, this mode of appointment is emanate from the same.

The conceptual knowledge of how to be a judge should also be accompanied with fervour and consistency to really be one.

The Routes are different but the Destination is same and so should be the Zeal and determination to achieve it !!

None of these methods are elementary but so is the glory of this position!!

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