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Model Interviews 9

Ms Ruchie Paul is a Candidate for the interview for the judicial services. She is a law graduate from Punjab University. She reaches the venue of the interview 20 minutes before the scheduled time and socializes with the other Candidates who have come for the interview.
Candidate
(Before entering the interview hall she gently taps on the door and then opens the door saying) May I come in, please?
Chairman
Yes, please come in.
Candidate
Good morning, madam and sir. I am Ruchie Paul, roll number 38, reporting for the interview. (As there was a lady member in the interview board, the Candidate wishes the lady first.)
Chairman
Good morning, Ms Ruchie Paul. Please be seated. (He points to the chair in front of him.)
Candidate
Thank you, sir. (She sits down with minimum of movement and noise. She remains relaxed with a smile on her face while waiting attentively for the next comment from the Chairman.)
Chairman
I note from your dossier that your parents belong to Himachal Pradesh but you had most of your education in Punjab. How’s that?
Candidate
Sir, my father is a commandant in the Central Reserve Police Force. You know the CRPF is always moving from one place to another, therefore, I had my early schooling in central schools wherever my father was posted. After pre-university I got the opportunity to join DAV College in Chandigarh because my father was then transferred to Punjab.
Chairman
What are the main attractions of Chandigarh?
Candidate
Chandigarh is a well-planned and neat city with several good markets, lawns and grounds. The city is known as the City Beautiful. There is also the Rock Garden which is a tourist attraction, apart from the famous Rose ­Garden and the Zoo. Besides these, there is a postgraduate ­medical research institute called PGI which is one of the biggest of its kind in India. There are several good ­colleges and also a university which enjoys a prominent status among universities in India.
Chairman
Let us come to the purpose of the interview now. There is a controversy in India as to whether the legislature or the judiciary is superior. What are your views on this?
Candidate
Sir, in a democracy like ours, the judiciary may be ­independent but cannot claim supremacy over the ­legislature. The legislature, which is an elected body of the people, makes the law. Democracy, it is said, is the government of the people, by the people and for the people. So the electorate assumes superiority and also the responsibility to make laws which the ­judiciary is required to interpret in case of conflict. Under the parliamentary system that India has adopted from the Westminster model, the legislature is answerable to the people, represents the people and it should, therefore, have the final say. The judiciary cannot claim ­supremacy, though it is independent as far as its ­functions are concerned.
Chairman
It means the judiciary cannot make laws. Then what about the court judgments which are sometimes ­referred to as law?
Candidate
Sir, laws are made by the legislature and the judiciary only helps to interpret them for proper implementation. No doubt the courts’ decisions also become law but they are based on the principles of law laid down by the legislature. Court rulings can be altered or modified by subsequent judgments, but the power to frame the basic law is vested only with the legislature which can modify the Constitution to represent the will of the people. The judiciary is there to interpret the laws and decide whether or not they are being implemented in the light of the provisions of the Constitution as amended by the legislature from time to time. Therefore, the judiciary has a secondary role and the legislature represents the will of the people.
Member
It means that for making laws the legislature is ­empowered to amend the Constitution. What is the procedure for amending the Constitution?
Candidate
Madam, our Constitution is a federal one but with a unitary bias. The procedure of its amendment is neither as easy as that in England nor as difficult as that in the United States. There are three methods for amendment. Some articles may be amended by a simple ­majority of the Parliament, others by a two-third majority of both the Houses, while there are some ­articles that require not only a two-third majority of the Parliament but also ratification by at least half of the state legislatures. These articles have vital importance for the states of the Indian Union, for example, election of the President of India, executive powers of the Union and the State Governments, legislative ­relations of the Union and the States, representation of the States in Parliament and matters pertaining to the Supreme Court and High Courts. Article 368 (Part XX) lays down the general procedure for amendment. But the articles that require only a simple majority in the Parliament do not fall in this category. Amendments of other articles come within the scope of Article 368.
Chairman
As a lawyer, in which type of cases have you specialized—civil or criminal?
Candidate
Sir, I am still working as an assistant to an advocate. At this stage, the question of specialization does not arise. As my senior gets both civil and criminal cases, I handle both types of cases.
Member
How much does a senior advocate earn on an ­average?
Candidate
Sir, on an average a senior advocate in Chandigarh earns around Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 per month.
Member
Then why have you opted for the judicial service? You too could earn that much. In this service you will not be paid a very high salary.
Candidate
Sir, to come to the category of a senior advocate, one has to have a standing as a practising lawyer for about eight to ten years. Before that, one has to work as an assistant to some leading advocate, during which period one’s income is very less. A fresh graduate earns between Rs 800 and Rs 1,000 per month. For independent practice after working as an assistant for eight to ten years, one should have a good library of law books and journals, besides a chamber and a clerk or a munshi. For a person of mediocre income, it is very difficult to reach that level. Moreover, in large cities like Chandigarh, there are already hundreds of senior lawyers and to compete with them takes several years. No doubt, in smaller towns it takes comparatively lesser time to become a senior advocate, but being a female, it would be difficult for me to live alone in some remote place. These are some of the constraints which have forced me to opt for this service and give up legal practice. Moreover, my exposure to court procedures so far will help me perform my judicial function in a much better way.
Chairman
Suppose you are selected and posted in a remote area; will you be able to join?
Candidate
In this job I will get a regular monthly salary, which is not assured in practice. I will then be able to take an independent house for rent and hire a servant. I can also take my younger brother along with me whom I can support from my salary and help my parents. I said it is difficult for a female to start a practice in a small town because there is no guarantee of a regular ­income for some years.
Member
Suppose in your judicial career you happen to be a High Court judge and then a new government takes over the state. Will that endanger the security of your service?
Candidate
No, madam. Judges of the High Courts are given complete security of service. A judge can only be removed from service by the President after an address has been presented to him by each House of Parliament for his removal. Such an address must be passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting. One may at the most be transferred to another High Court, but that too by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
Member
Are judges allowed to start practice as an advocate ­after retirement or leaving the job?
Candidate
Yes, sir. But it depends on the court where he served. For example, a judge of the Supreme Court is ­debarred from practising in any court or ­appearing before any authority of India. Similarly, a judge of a High Court is not allowed to practice in the same court. He can practice in any other High Court but not in a lower court.
Chairman
That will be all. It was a good conversation. You may go, please.
Candidate
Thank you, sir




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