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:
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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