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Senior Advocate Designation Process : One Mark Each Should Be Awarded For Each Year Of Practice From 10-20 Years, Supreme Court Clarifies

Srishti Ojha
4 May 2022 6:36 AM GMT
Senior Advocate Designation Process : One Mark Each Should Be Awarded For Each Year Of Practice From 10-20 Years, Supreme Court Clarifies
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While assessing applications for senior advocate designations, the High Courts should allocate one mark each for each year of practice from 10 to 20 years, instead of allocating 10 marks flat for the counsel who has put in 10-20 years practice, clarified the Supreme Court on Wednesday.A bench comprising Justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and PS Narasimha issued this clarification allowing...

While assessing applications for senior advocate designations, the High Courts should allocate one mark each for each year of practice from 10 to 20 years, instead of allocating 10 marks flat for the counsel who has put in 10-20 years practice, clarified the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

A bench comprising Justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and PS Narasimha issued this clarification allowing a prayer in an application made by Senior Advocate Indira Jaising.

"We clarify the situation and hold that instead of 10 marks to be allocated to a learned counsel who's put in 10-20 years of practice, marks be allocated commensurate with the standing of the person at the bar, that's to say, one mark each be allocated for every year of practice from 10-20 years. Prayer c in application is therefore granted", the bench said.

Senior Counsel Jaising submitted that many High Courts follow the practice of granting 10 points  for 10-20 years of practice. She submitted that she has received feedback from lawyers who've informed her that everyone who had an experience of 10-19 years is getting the same marks.

She suggested that for 10 years experience 10 mark can be granted and then every additional year of service may be rewarded with one mark.

Jaising had earlier filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking guidelines for objective criteria to be followed for conferring senior designations. In 2017, the Court had delivered a judgment in her petition, framing several guidelines and directing the High Courts to adopt the same by framing rules.

Last year, Jaising moved an application in the writ petition seeking further guidelines by saying that there were anomalies in the rules framed by many High Courts. She sought for directions that the cut-off marks should be announced in advance and that the process of secret voting by Full Court should be stopped.

The bench today adjourned the consideration of the other reliefs sought in the application till next Thursday, after Solicitor General of India sought time for filing reply.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the Union Government would like to put on records its views.

"I'm for the Central Government, I would like to put my stand, have it after two days. Full court must have final say", the SG said. The SG submitted that conferring of senior designation is an honour given by the Court and it cannot be subject to personal interviews.

"You're appearing for union, you're concerned, we won't say Union has no concern, we'd like to have your opinion on record. But we'll allow Jaising's application straight away(as regards prayer c)", Justice Lalit said.

As regards the prayer(c)(relating to award of marks for 10-20 years practice), the bench said that there is no reason to defer the same as the submissions are purely on the text of the matter.

Case Title : Indira Jaising versus Supreme Court of India

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 451

Click here to read/download the order




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