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Senior Designation: New PIL In SC Challenges Inconsistencies In Regulations Framed By Various HCs [Read Petition]

MEHAL JAIN
2 May 2019 6:43 AM GMT
Senior Designation: New PIL In SC Challenges Inconsistencies In Regulations Framed By Various HCs [Read Petition]
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A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the inconsistencies in the guidelines framed by various High Courts for the designation of Advocates as Senior Advocates.The petitioner, advocate and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, has pointed out the Inconsistency or the lack of clarity on the forum where an Advocate should have practiced in order to be eligible for designation as a...

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A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the inconsistencies in the guidelines framed by various High Courts for the designation of Advocates as Senior Advocates.

The petitioner, advocate and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, has pointed out the Inconsistency or the lack of clarity on the forum where an Advocate should have practiced in order to be eligible for designation as a Senior Advocate Different High Courts have differing guidelines on this issue.
While certain High Courts (Bombay, Chhattisgarh etc) require an Advocate to have practiced for at least ten years in that High Court in order to be eligible for designation as a Senior Advocate, certain other High Courts (Delhi, Punjab & Haryana) consider Advocates who have practiced for at least ten years in that High Court or in courts subordinate to that High Court, to be eligible for designation as a Senior Advocate. Furthermore, a few High Courts like those of Kerala and Allahabad consider Advocates who have practiced for at least ten years anywhere in India to be eligible for designation as a Senior Advocate, without a qualification as to where such Advocates ought to have practiced or with a qualification that at least some of such practice must have been at that High Court or its subordinate courts.
Besides, Some High Courts like J & K and Rajasthan also impose a minimum age requirement of 35 or 40 years, completely contrary to the directions in the Indira Jaising judgment (2017), while others impose conditions that contradict the Prescribed Guidelines or travel beyond them, such as requiring Advocates to have practiced for at least fifteen years in order to be eligible for designation as Senior Advocates.
Moreover, While in Allahabad and Patna, Advocates have to disclose their professional income (in the case of the High Courts of Himachal Pradesh, Allahabad, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Patna and Sikkim), Kerala and J & K require the Advocates to have been income tax assessees for a certain period of time, and some like MP and Madras require a certain minimum income.
"Despite the fact that the Indira Jaising judgment makes it clear that income is not a relevant factor to determine eligibility for designation as a Senior Advocate, guidelines introduced by several High Courts ask the applicant Advocates to disclose their professional income during the last five years", Upadhyay avers, reciting that the apex court had observed that insistence on any particular income as a condition of eligibility may be a self-defeating exercise, since merit, ability, standing in the Bar and expertise in a specialized field of law was to be the determining factors.
"Furthermore, this Hon'ble Court in paragraph 72 of its judgment states that instead of having a minimum age requirement with a provision of relaxation in an appropriate case, it would be better to go by the norm of 10 years' practice at the Bar, which is also what is prescribed by Article 217 of the Constitution as a condition of eligibility for being considered for appointment as a Judge of the High Court", he states.
Read the Petition Here

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