Syllabus for Judicial Services Exams across India


A career as a judge can be attained through two levels. One is the lower Judiciary where fresh graduates get selected through entrance examinations conducted by the Public service Commission of each state or the Higher Judiciary which requires a minimum of seven years of practice in the Bar. To prepare for the Judicial Service Examination in a meticulous manner every aspirant must have clarity on what to learn and what not to focus upon. As already mentioned, each state has its own pattern of the syllabus and a particular format for the question paper. Nevertheless, most of the subjects prescribed by each state are the same and carry the same amount of weight as far as the marks allotted to them are concerned.

What is the pattern of Examination?

The Judicial Service Examination consists of two levels and a Viva Voce test. The first examination is the Judicial Service Preliminary Examination and the next one is the Judicial Service Mains Examination. The candidates shortlisted from the prelims will be eligible to appear for the Main exam. The final merit list is based on both these levels along with the marks obtained in the personality test. Certain states have a requirement of minimum marks in the viva-voce test, whereas other states aggregate it to the marks of the Mains and prelims.

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Syllabus for preliminary examination

The preliminary examination generally consists of questions from the following subjects:

  • General Knowledge and Current Affairs
  • Proficiency In English Language and Aptitude
  • Constitutional law
  • IPC, CPC, CrPC, and The Indian Evidence Act
  • Contract Law and Tort Law
  • Transfer of Property law

Apart from these, some states cover certain other topics in their syllabus as follows:

Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, and Nagaland: Proficiency in the official language of Assam

Bihar: Elementary general Science, Administrative law, Hindu and Muslim personal laws, Principles of Equity, Law of trusts, Specific Relief Act, Commercial law

Chhattisgarh:  Accommodation Control Act, Court fees act, Registration Act and Chhattisgarh Land revenue code, Limitation, and Specific relief acts

Delhi: Principles Governing Arbitration Law, the Partnership Act

Goa: Sales of Goods Act, Land laws of Goa, The Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste (Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989)

Karnataka: Karnataka Rent Act

Kerala: Kerala Building (Lease and Rent Control) Act

Madhya Pradesh: Madhya Pradesh Accommodation Control Act, Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code

Syllabus for the Main examination

The syllabus for the Main examination of the Judiciary also varies according to each state. The patterns are as follows:

1. Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Maharashtra, and Jammu & Kashmir

Paper I (To test English; 100 marks, 2 hours):  Essay, precise writing, Grammar

Paper II ( To test General Knowledge; 100 marks,2 hours): Objective test, Aptitude Test

Paper III (Law; 100marks, 2 hours): Transfer of Property, Civil procedure code, Indian Contract Act, Constitution of India

Paper IV (Law; 100 marks, 2 hours): Indian Penal Code, CrPC, Law of Torts, Indian Evidence Act

2. Bihar

Part I: Compulsory Paper- General knowledge including current affairs (150 marks), Elementary Science (100marks), General Hindi (100 marks ), General English(100 marks ), Law of evidence and procedure( 150 marks)

Hindi and English are compulsory papers but only qualifying in nature which requires only 30 marks out of 100

Part II: Optional paper(150 marks each)- Constitutional Law of India and England(, Hindu and Muslim Law, Transfer of property, Principles of Equity, Law of Trusts and Specific Relief Act, Law of Contract and Torts, Commercial law

3. Chhattisgarh

Framing of issues and writing of judgment in Civil Cases (40 marks)

Framing of charges and writing of judgment in Criminal Cases (40marks)

Translation: English to Hindi (10marks), Hindi to English(10marks)

4. Delhi 

Paper I: General Knowledge and Language (250 marks) – Current affairs, Essay, Translation, and precise writing

Paper II: Civil Law I( 200 marks)- Indian Contract Act, Indian Sale of Goods Act, Indian Partnership Act, Specific Relief Act, Hindu Law, Muslim Law, Delhi Rent control Act and Law of Torts

Paper III: Civil law II (200 marks)- Civil Procedure Code, Law of Evidence, Law of Limitation, and Law of Registration

Paper III: Criminal Law (200 marks) -Criminal Procedure Code, Indian penal code, and Indian Evidence Act

5. Goa

Paper-I: The Indian Contract act, 1872, The Specific Relief Act, 1963, The Limitation Act, 1963, Sales of Goods Act, 1930, Indian Partnership Act, 1932, The Code of Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Transfer of Property Act, 1882, The Easement Act,1882, Family Laws in Goa , Land Laws in Goa

Paper-II: The code of Criminal procedure Code, 1973, The Indian Penal Code, 1860 The Evidence Act,1872, The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, Essay on Current Legal Topics

6. Haryana and Punjab

Paper I: Civil Law I( 200 marks)-Code of Civil procedure, Punjab Courts Act, Indian Contract Act, Indian Sale of Goods Act, Indian Partnership Act, Specific Relief Act

Paper-II: Civil Law II (200 marks)- Hindu Law, Muslim Law and Customary Law, Law of Registration and Limitation

Paper III: Criminal Law (200 marks)- Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal procedure, Indian Evidence Act

Paper IV:  English- Essay (25 marks), Words and phrases (25 marks), Comprehension (25 marks), Corrections (25 marks)

Paper V: Language- Hindi in Devanagari Script (100/150 marks)

7. Himachal Pradesh

Paper I: Civil Law I( 200 marks)-Code of Civil procedure, Indian Stamp Act, Indian Evidence Act, Himachal Pradesh Courts Act, Specific Relief Act

Paper-II: Civil Law II (200 marks)- Indian Contract Act, Hindu Law, Transfer of Property Act, Himachal Pradesh Urban Rent Control Act, Indian Limitation Act

Paper III: Criminal Law (200 marks)- Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal procedure, Chapter XVII of  Negotiable Instruments Act, HP Excise Act, Wildlife Protection Act, Indian Forest Act

Paper IV:  English Composition (200 marks)

Paper V: Language (100 marks)

8. Jharkhand

Paper I: Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure Code, Indian Evidence Act, Limitation Act

Paper-II: Civil Procedure Code, Transfer of Property, Indian Contract Act, Sales of Goods Act, Arbitration and Conciliation Act

Paper III: Hindu Law, Muslim Law, Rent Control Law, Specific Relief Act, and Jurisprudence

Paper IV: Hindi and English

9. Karnataka

Paper I: Translation Paper (100 marks) – Depositions, Judgments, and Documents

Paper-II: Law paper I (100 marks) – Civil procedure Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Indian Evidence Act, Principles of Pleading and Indian Constitution

Paper III: Law paper II (100 marks) – Framing of issues and writing judgments in civil cases

Paper IV: Law paper III (100 marks)-Framing of charges and writing judgments in criminal cases

10. Kerala

Paper I: English Grammar, General Essays, Translation of Malayalam Documents and Depositions to English, Precise writing

Paper II: Indian Contract Act, Transfer of Property, Limitation Act, Specific Relief Act, Easements Act, Kerala Building Act, Hindu Succession Act, Indian Succession Act, Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, Kerala Court Fees and Suits Valuation Act, Kerala Stamp Act, Legal Services Authorities act, The Kerala Panchayatha Raj Act, Kerala Municipality Act, Negotiable Instruments Act and Registration Act

Paper III- Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act, Abkari Act, Negotiable Instruments Act, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, Juvenile Justice Act, Kerala Police Act, Probation of Offenders Act, Forest Act, NDPS Act

Paper IV: Code of Civil Procedure, Civil Rules of Practice, Kerala Civil Courts Act Code of criminal procedure, Criminal Rules of Practice, Framing of charges and issues, Judgment writing

11. Madhya Pradesh:

Paper I: Civil Law and procedure

Paper II: Criminal law and procedure

Paper III: Writing Skill, Court Practice, Translation, and Current Legal Knowledge

Paper V: Judgment writing

12. Odisha

Paper I: General English

Paper II: Procedural laws- Civil procedure code, Criminal procedure code, Indian Evidence Act

Paper III: Optional papers- Law of Crime and Law of torts, Hindu and Muslim Law, Law of Property, Law of Contract, Jurisprudence, and Constitution of India

13. Rajasthan

Paper I: Law paper I- Constitution of India, Civil procedure Code< Contact law, Tort laws, Motor vehicle law, Rent control law, Personal laws, Law of Transfer of Property

Paper II: Law paper II- Criminal law, Narcotic Law, Law relating to cybercrimes and electricity theft, Law of probation, Law on juvenile delinquency

Paper III: Language paper I- Hindi essay writing and grammar

Paper IV: Language paper II- English essay writing, translation, and grammar

14. Sikkim

Paper I: Procedural law, Local law, Indian evidence Act, Limitation Act

Paper II: Hindu Law, Contract law, Sales of goods act, Partnership Act, Specific Relief Act, General Clauses Act, transfer of property Act, Indian Penal Code, Constitutional law

15. Uttarakhand

Paper I: Substantive Law

Paper II: Evidence and procedure

Paper III: Revenue and criminal law

Paper IV: The present-day- Current affairs and general knowledge

Paper V: Language

16. Uttar Pradesh

Paper I: General knowledge- History of India and Indian Culture, Geography of India, Indian Polity, Indian economy, international affairs

Paper II: Law- Jurisprudence, International Organizations, Indian constitution, Transfer of property, Indian Evidence Act, Code of criminal procedure, Code of Civil procedure, Contract laws

17. West Bengal

Paper I: Compulsory papers- English composition, Bengali, general knowledge, Civil law, Criminal law, Contract law, Transfer of Property Act

Paper II: Optional papers- Hindu law, Muslim law, Jurisprudence and principles of legislation, Laws relating to companies and insurance, Law of Trusts and Specific Relief, Partnership Act, Law of limitation, Constitutional law


A general reading of all the subjects of law can prepare you for the preliminary examination, whereas for the Main examination one has to have conceptual clarity as well as critical thinking. Aptitude tests are to assess the candidate’s logic and reasoning ability, so solving more question papers from previous years can help to build the confidence to attempt such questions.

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