Only eight candidates pass exams conducted for 43 district judge positions, no women selected

Published On: June 21, 2024 02:55 PM NPT By: Bhasa Sharma

KATHMANDU, June 21: Only eight candidates have passed the examination conducted for 43 positions of District Judge. Under the inclusive quotas, only one candidate managed to secure a position under the indigenous quota. In the written examination conducted by the Judicial Service Commission in mid-May, not a single candidate passed in the reserved categories for women, Madhesis, Dalits and persons with disabilities.

The Commission conducted the written examination for the post of District Judge from May 9 to May 12, 2024, for a total of 43 positions. Only eight candidates were successful.

Not only women, but also candidates from Madheshi, Dalit, and disabled communities were absent in the reserved categories. Out of the total applicants, which included 21 from internal open, 12 from open, four women, two from indigenous communities, two Madhesis, one Dalit, and one person with disabilities, only four from the internal open category passed the written exam. Additionally, there was a provision allowing individuals at the level of under-secretary to take the exam.

Similarly, out of the 12 candidates selected for the judicial service, eight have been chosen, including one from the indigenous community. Despite a total of 12 passing candidates, only eight have been shortlisted for interviews due to duplicate names appearing in both internal and open categories.

There was a provision that allowed only candidates with at least eight years of experience in the judicial service to take the exam. Ashok Kumar Chhetri, Spokesperson for the Judicial Council Secretariat, stated that 203 individuals participated in the written examination for 43 positions of District Judge.

He mentioned that out of the 43 vacant positions, only eight candidates passed the examination after multiple attempts. Interviews are scheduled for Thursday and Friday for those who have passed the written test. Those who successfully pass the interview will be recommended for appointment as district judges.

According to Spokesperson Chhetri, a total of 39 women had submitted applications for the district judge examination. He mentioned that fewer female competitors might have influenced the outcomes based on inclusiveness principles. Spokesperson Chhetri informed Republica that the participation of women has been gradually increasing in recent times.

"There is a rising trend of women entering the judicial service. When observing appointments in the judicial sector, there is optimism,” she said. “Comparing the current situation and structure, it may not seem equal between men and women, but in the coming years, the number of women is expected to significantly increase."

The number of women judges in the country is 43. Currently, there are 21 women judges including two at the Supreme Court, and a woman chief judge at a high court. Similarly, Spokesperson Chhetri said that there are 20 women serving as district judges.

Article 149 of the constitution outlines the appointment, qualifications, remuneration, and other conditions of service for district court judges. District court judges are appointed by the Chief Justice based on the recommendations of the Judicial Council.

According to the constitution, 20 percent of vacant district judge positions are filled by officers who have obtained a bachelor's degree in law and have worked for at least three years in a gazetted second-class position within the judicial service. Appointments are based on seniority, qualifications, and performance evaluations.

At the same time, the remaining 40 percent of the posts are to be filled through an open competitive examination. This examination is open to officers who have obtained a bachelor's degree in law and have worked for at least three years in a gazetted second-class position within the judicial service.

According to the constitution, the Judicial Service Commission conducts competitive written exams and interviews among qualified candidates and recommends them to the Judicial Council for appointment as district judges based on their merit.

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