Interview by Poojita Singh.
Congrats on your success! Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Thank you so much for your wishes and also for letting me connect with your readers. I am Arjit Dubey and I am a law graduate from School of Law, Dr. Harisingh Gour Central University, Sagar.
I graduated in the year 2017 and was awarded two Gold Medals along with University Medal. I have been selected in Madhya Pradesh Judicial Services Examination in the same year and secured Rank 3.
What made you choose judiciary as a career option?
As a law student, I have always regarded the judgments of a court of law as an instrument of social change. For me, the best service to the society is to bring about a positive change in the society and that has always motivated me to join judiciary.
Moreover, I think that judicial services are the most promising as well as the most stable career option for a law student. The respect and faith attached to that particular office have also motivated me to join judiciary.
What was your overall strategy for prelims?
In the preliminary exam the question paper is divided into two parts. The first one is the part containing twelve law subjects and the other one contains General Studies including English and Computer Knowledge.
As the subject in first part are all statutory laws, I always followed the rule ‘Begin with the bare act, end with the book’ i.e. start preparing a particular provision of any law with a thorough reading of that provision from bare act which makes you aware of the manner and language in which that provision is contained in the statute and thereafter read the commentary on that provision from any book which will give you a conceptual clarity and knowledge of the relevant case laws. I also solved previous year question papers of all the states.
For the General Studies part, I read newspapers and Current Affairs magazines regularly and have solved previous year question papers.
What was your overall strategy for mains?
The main examination contains four papers of 100 marks each. Out of which two are ‘Civil Law and Constitutional Law’ and ‘Criminal Law and Local Laws’. The other two are ‘Translation, Summarization and Article writing’ and ‘Judgment Writing’.
For the law portion, I tried to gain command over the language of the statutory provision along with the conceptual clarity and thorough knowledge of relevant cases. For article writing, I prepared articles on various legal and social issues including current issues like the right to privacy and legal aspects of demonetization etc.
For judgment writing, I took coaching as it requires skills along with the knowledge of relevant provisions and it is easy to learn the same under the guidance of a good teacher. I practiced judgment writing regularly and wrote one criminal and one civil judgment every week.
For translation, I referred to the Diglot edition of Bare Acts where you can read sections in English and in Hindi.
Along with this I also focused on my answer writing skills including speed, as the biggest challenge in this exam is to complete the paper within time. Also, a good handwriting gives an edge over the others.
How did you prepare for the interview?
The interview is of 50 marks. For the interview, I took various mock interviews. Along with it I also revised all the subjects of the syllabus. There is no particular strategy for the interview as anything and everything can be asked.
Can you share your book list for all subjects/parts (prelims and mains)?
For prelims and mains, I preferred the following books along with the bare act:-
- Constitutional Law- V.N. Shukla
- Indian Penal Code- K.D. Gaur
- Criminal Procedure- R. V. Kelkar (Academic Edition)
- Civil Procedure and Limitation Act- C. K. Takwani
- Evidence Act- Batuk Lal
- Transfer of property act- R. K. Sinha
- Contract act and Specific Relief act- Avtar Singh
- Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code- Bare Act
- Madhya Pradesh Accommodation Control Act- Bare Act
- Negotiable Instruments Act- Bare act and it is also provided in some books on Contract Act.
For current affairs, I read Pratiyogita Darpan magazine as well as year book.
For Judgment Writing, I consulted P. V. Namjoshi’s book on it.
What were your ‘secret sauce’ recipes, if any? 🙂
I didn’t have any specific secret sauce recipe as such:-)
For how long did you prepare and how many hours did you put in?
This was my first attempt. Although I started preparing in the fourth year of graduation itself, I didn’t have much time for full-time preparation. After graduation, I had around 4 months to prepare for prelims.
There was no fixed number of hours that I put in studying every day. I made short term and long term targets and tried to accomplish them on daily basis.
Resultantly there were some days on which I would study for merely 4 hours and n the other it took around 14-15 hours. I had much less time to prepare for mains. During that time I usually studied for 12-14 hours.
What were some challenges you faced/mistakes you made, and how did you overcome them?
Being a fresher one of the biggest challenge for me was to compete with the students who were preparing rigorously for years to clear this exam.
After clearing prelims another challenge was to prepare for mains in a short period of two months while other aspirants prepared for it along with prelims, I prepared for it after clearing prelims.
But I always believed in my hard work and as I have said earlier made short and long-term targets and at the end of the day I was successful both in accomplishing the targets and clearing the exam.
What were the most important ‘right things/strategies’ you implemented?
I always believed that time constraints make a person more productive. During preparation, I had prefixed time limits for each section, each chapter, and each act and that was really helpful for me as I was able to complete the whole of the syllabus within time.
I solved previous year question papers of both prelims and mains and that was an advantage for me.
Did you take coaching from anywhere? If yes, how did it help?
During my law school days, one of my Professor (who is now a Judge) was my tutor, mentor, and guide. He guided every step of mine towards judicial service examination during graduation and it was really helpful.
After graduation, I did join a coaching institute at Indore but left it in about a month and started self-study.
I also took coaching for Judgment Writing which was also very helpful.
How was your interview and what sort of questions were asked?
My interview was really good. There were some common questions like ‘why do you want to join judiciary?’, ‘who is your favourite legal personality ?’.
Along with them, there were questions on law like ‘Where can you find vicarious liability in IPC?’ and ‘Can a criminal appeal be dismissed in default?’.
There were questions based on certain situations as well e.g. ‘After you are appointed as a Judge will you drink at your friend’s birthday party if they force you to drink? If yes, why? If no, why?’
And ‘If a time-barred appeal s filed in your court without an application for condonation of delay what will you do? Reject it or admit it?’
Anything else you’d like to tell our readers.
I would like to tell all the readers especially those preparing for judicial services that the harder you try the luckier you get. Set a goal, have a strategy and let the success touch your feet.
This post was first published on: October 11, 2018