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Madras HC Designation Of Senior Advocates Rules Notified: Provides Minimum Age/Experience Criteria, Bars Them From Mentioning/Seeking Adjournment

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
28 July 2020 5:16 AM GMT
Madras HC Designation Of Senior Advocates Rules Notified: Provides Minimum Age/Experience Criteria, Bars Them From Mentioning/Seeking Adjournment
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Madras High Court Designation Of Senior Advocates Rules, 2020 has come into force.

The Rules provide for a minimum age limit of 45 years and 15 years of minimum experience. It also debars a Senior Advocate from mentioning any matter to the Court nor seek an adjournment in any Court.

The Rules envisage constitution of a Permanent Committee For Designation Of Senior Advocates to deal with all matters relating to designation of Senior Advocates in the High Court. The Committee will be headed by the Chief Justice and consist of the two Senior-most Judges of the High Court, the Advocate General and a designated Senior Advocate of the Bar to be nominated by the members of the Permanent Committee.

Qualifications and Disqualifications

The Rules provide certain qualifications and disqualifications:

  • He/she should have completed 45 years of age and is ordinarily practicing in the Madras High Court or its Bench at Madurai and Courts Subordinate to it, including Tribunals for not less than 10 years preceding the date of consideration of his application for designation as Senior Advocate;
  • He/she should have 15 years combined standing as an Advocate or a District and Sessions Judge, or as a Judicial Member of any Court or Tribunal in India whose qualification for eligibility for such appointment, is not less than that prescribed for appointment as a District Judge;
  • He/she is an Income-tax assessee for the previous 10 consecutive years. The Advocate shall furnish copies of the annual income tax returns for the preceding 10 years duly certified by a Chartered Accountant.
  • He/she exhibits distinction and eminence for legal acumen and special knowledge and maintains integrity, reputation and high ethical standards expected of a Senior Advocate both inside and outside the Court;
  • He/she has 15 judgments to his credit, in the preceding five years, where he has contributed to the growth of law;
  • If a charge has been framed against an Advocate for an offence involving moral turpitude or he has been convicted by any court of law for an offence involving moral turpitude or any proceeding for professional misconduct is pending before the Bar Council or if he has been found guilty of professional misconduct by the Bar Council , he shall be disqualified.
  • Disqualification also accrues if any contempt of court proceedings are pending before any Court of Law or if he has been found guilty of contempt of court.

Procedure

Rules 5, 6 and 7 deals with the Modes Of Proposal & Method Of Submission, Receipt & Processing Of Proposals Or Applications, Procedures To Be Followed By The Permanent Committee & Designation Process.

A name of Advocate can be recommended by the Chief Justice or any permanent judge of the High Court. The committee can also accept a proposal for designation as Senior Advocate by two designated Senior Advocates of having a standing of fifteen years as Senior Advocate of the High Court. The committee can also consider an Application by an Advocate, endorsed by two designated Senior Advocates of having a standing of fifteen years as Senior Advocate of the High Court.

10 points awarded for 10 - 20 years of practice, 20 points for practice beyond 20 years.Judgments (Reported and unreported) which indicate the legal formulations advanced by the Advocate in the course of proceedings of the case carries 40 points.Publications by the Advocate has gets 15 points and 25 marks are awarded by conducting Personality & Suitability test on the basis of interview/interaction 

Conditions and Restrictions 

The Rules also contain usual restrictions on Senior Advocates. It says that he/she shall not file any Vakalat or Memo of Appearance, appear before any court, tribunal or judicial authority unless assisted by another Advocate, directly give consultation to any litigant. Interestingly, it also adds that he shall not appear for mentioning any matter to the Court nor seek an adjournment in any Court. The Rules also says that he shall not be a standing counsel of any Government, Public Sector undertaking, institution or local corporate body and if he holds such a position, he shall resign or relinquish the same upon being designated a Senior Advocate.

Withdrawal of Designation

The Rules also empower the Full Court to withdraw the senior designation of a Senior Advocate if he is found guilty of any professional conduct or for involvement in any alleged offence involving moral turpitude or is found guilty of contempt of court or found guilty of misconduct by the Bar Council, rendering him unworthy to continue as Senior Advocate. 

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