SC Judges Can Now Have Upto 5 Law Clerks, Remuneration Of Law Clerks Fixed At 80,000 Per Month- New Guidelines
The Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud has approved the scheme/guidelines with respect to the engagement of Law Clerk-cum-Research Associates on short-term contractual assignments. The Supreme Court Judges can now have upto five Law Clerks who will be paid a consolidated remuneration of Rs. 80,000/- per month for the assignment term.
The Apex Court has introduced “Scheme for Engaging Law Clerk-cum-Research Associates on Short-Term Contractual Assignment in the Supreme Court of India – April, 2023”. The following are some of the important points mentioned in the scheme:-
• The Law Clerks will be engaged on a purely short-term contractual assignment commencing from the re-opening of the Court after the summer vacation and concluding by the end of the following year's summer vacation.
• A Law Clerk will be paid a consolidated remuneration of Rs. 80,000/- per month for the assignment term and there will be no other allowances/perquisites.
• If a Law Clerk is given an extension after twelve months of the initial assignment, then a consolidated remuneration of Rs. 90,000/- per month will be paid for the extended assignment term and there will be no other allowances/perquisites.
• The Chief Justice or a Judge shall be entitled to have services of four Law Clerks, out of which the first two shall be mandatorily through the selection process of the Registry.
• Subject to their workload, the Chief Justice or a Judge may inform and engage the services of a fifth Law Clerk, in addition to the four Law Clerks, from the selection process of the Registry.
• The period during which a Law Clerk is attached to a Judge’s office or in the Registry shall be counted for the purpose of the eligibility requirement for the Advocates-on-Record examination.
• The current Scheme does not bar any Law Clerk to get enrolled as an Advocate during their assignment in the Supreme Court.
• On successful completion of the assignment term, a Certificate will be issued by the Registrar (Recruitment).
Eligibility: A candidate must not be below the age of 20 years and above 30 years as on the final date for registration for the Law Clerks exam; must be a Law Graduate having a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (including an Integrated Degree Course in Law) from any School/College/University/Institute established by law in India and recognized by the Bar Council of India for enrolment as an Advocate; must have research and analytical skills, writing abilities, and knowledge of computers, including retrieval of desired information from various search engines/processes such as eSCR, Manupatra, SCC Online, LexisNexis, Westlaw, etc.
Pattern of Examination: The selection process shall be conducted in three phases: Part I- Multiple Choice Based Questions, testing the candidates’ ability to understand and apply the law, and comprehension skills; Part II- Subjective Written Examination, covering writing and analytical skills; Part III- Interview by individual Judges.
Working Hours: It is a full-time job and a Law Clerk may be required to attend the Residential Office of the concerned Judge in addition to normal duty during office hours. A Law Clerk may be required to attend Office/Residential Office even on gazetted/local holidays. However, the time schedule for the duty hours shall be fixed by the Judge concerned or the Registry officer.