Leaders at NDA meet seek all India judicial service

Leaders at NDA meet seek all India judicial service

Some leaders of the BJP-led NDA have pitched for an all India judicial service on the lines of the civil services and sought a discussion on the matter in Parliament.

The issue, which involves the demand for reservation in the judiciary for Dalits and backward classes, was raised in the meeting of top NDA leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, on Friday, the first day of the Winter Session, highly-placed sources said.

A senior BJP leader told PTI that the matter was raised in the meeting by some members, who sought a discussion on the issue in Parliament.

They said there should be all India judicial service like the Indian Administrative Service or the Indian Police Service, he said on the condition of anonymity.

The sources, however, declined to name the leaders who raised the issue at the meeting.

A large section of politicians, especially those drawn from disadvantaged classes, has been vocal over the issue, citing the minuscule presence of these communities, especially Dalits and STs, in the higher judiciary.

The matter was in the limelight recently after President Ram Nath Kovind expressed his concern at a public event over "unacceptably low" presence of women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes in the higher judiciary.

Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha had demanded recently that gates of the higher judiciary be opened for women and disadvantaged classes, claiming that most high court and Supreme Court judges have come from 250-300 families. "Not only for Dalits and backward castes, the door is closed even for people from general castes. Members of over 250-300 families have been becoming judges in high courts and the Supreme Court since Independence. Doors are closed for all others. They must be opened," he had said at a public meeting to mark the death anniversary of B R Ambedkar.

Dalit members of Parliament have long been raising the issue and saying that an all India judicial service will pave the way for reservation for the traditionally deprived sections of society in higher judiciary.

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