Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Plea in SC seeking implementation of court’s guidelines in conferment of ‘Senior’ Designation

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New Delhi: An application has been filed before the Supreme Court, seeking directions for proper and effective implementation of the court’s guidelines issued to regulate conferment of the designation of Senior Advocates in 2018 and initiation of the process of designation of Senior Advocates. The application has also prayed that the ‘Senior’ designation process be conducted via virtual mode in a manner similar to the virtual court hearings.

The application has been filed by Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, who in July 2015 had filed a petition in public interest in the Supreme Court of India titled Indira Jaising vs Supreme Court of India (through the Secretary General) & Ors, seeking guidelines for the designation of Senior Advocates. Pursuant to the judgement in 2017, the Supreme Court had issued its guidelines on August 6, 2018 for regulating conferment of designation of senior advocates.

The application has stated that as per the guidelines, the Secretariat of the Committee for Designation of Senior Advocates is required to invite applications from candidates seeking conferment of Senior designation twice in a year, but the applications were invited only once in August 2018 after issuance of guidelines.

According to the applicant, going by the guidelines, the registry should have initiated the process of designation in January and July 2019, and in January and July in 2020, but it wasn’t done in these last 4 windows. The process of inviting applications has therefore come to standstill after August 2018.

According to the applicant, the apex court judgement in 2017 regarding Senior designation was a landmark judgement that rectified long standing imbalances and anomalies in the process and introduced a great amount of transparency and merit in the process. However, by not implementing the guidelines, the Court has failed to comply with its own judgement, which has adversely impacted several deserving and eligible members of the Bar.

Read Also: Now plea for promotion for failed ICSE students

The applicant has also acknowledged the current pandemic and lockdown situation and stated that the Senior advocate designation process can commence even now as the initial stages of calling for applications can be done electronically. Even if the present lockdown gets extended the entire process including scrutiny of applications, interviews, etc can also be done virtually.

–  India Legal Bureau

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