16 Feb 2023 9:17 AM GMT
On Thursday, the Supreme Court indicated that it is to commence with the hearing of the petition filed by Senior Advocate Indira Jaising seeking reforms in the process of designation of Senior Advocate on Wednesday (22nd Feb, 2023). The Apex Court has directed the petition to be listed as the first item on the Wednesday Board.“List on Wednesday as the first item.”A Bench comprising...
On Thursday, the Supreme Court indicated that it is to commence with the hearing of the petition filed by Senior Advocate Indira Jaising seeking reforms in the process of designation of Senior Advocate on Wednesday (22nd Feb, 2023). The Apex Court has directed the petition to be listed as the first item on the Wednesday Board.
“List on Wednesday as the first item.”
A Bench comprising Justice S.K. Kaul, Justice Manoj Misra and Justice Aravind Kumar clarified that it would confine the hearing to the issues arising out of its judgment in Indira Jaising v. Supreme Court of India (2017).
“We make it clear that at this stage we would restrict to the issue arising from the judgment which gave liberty to revisit it on the basis of experience so far.”
The 2017 judgment had granted liberty to be revisited for modification if so required. The relevant portion of the judgment reads as under -
“We are not oblivious of the fact that the guidelines enumerated above may not be exhaustive of the matter and may require reconsideration by suitable additions/deletions in the light of the experience to be gained over a period of time. This is a course of action that we leave open for consideration by this Court at such point of time that the same becomes necessary.”
On Thursday, as the matter was taken up for hearing, the Solicitor General of India, Mr. Tushar Mehta appraised the Apex Court that during the course of the day he is to file an application setting out the experience gained so far, as the same would be beneficial for consideration of the matter. Senior Advocate, Mr. Vikas Singh appearing for the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Senior Advocate, Mr. Aman Lekhi appearing for the Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record Association (SCAORA) also informed the Bench that they would file their notes. In this regard, the Bench directed -
“We request all concerned Counsels to make sure that in the form of synopsis whatever they want to say qua the experience so far be submitted so that we can proceed with the hearing keeping in mind the contours of what we have set out hereinabove.”
Ms. Jaising vehemently submitted that the Court should hear the matter at the earliest as any further deferment of the hearing would only delay the process of designation of senior advocates. Though the Bench agreed with the submission of the Senior Advocate, it noted that many parties are yet to file their written submissions in compliance with its order dated 12.09.2022. It thought fit to postpone the hearing by a week’s time -
“Ld Counsels across the board have expressed their request that the issue of revisiting the judgment on any aspects if any be examined by this court on a priority. We were ready to proceed with the matter except that we had issued certain directions in our order dated 12.09.2022 and it is pointed out that those written submissions required to be filed have not been so filed by many parties.”
Senior Counsels appearing for individual High Courts also flagged issues that have arisen in the designation process pursuant to the 2017 judgment. The Bench made it abundantly clear that at the inception it would only deal with the issue arising out of the 2017 judgment and not go into specific difficulties experienced by High Courts.
Recently, the SCAORA filed an application urging the Apex Court to direct the Committee for Designation of Senior Advocates to fast-track and complete the process of designating senior advocates pursuant to applications received in February 2022. It has been pointed out that in violation of the ‘Supreme Court Guidelines to Regulate Conferment of Designation of Senior Advocate’, after the previous round of designations was concluded in 2019, the exercise was not started afresh since February 2022.
[Case Title: Amar Vivek Aggarwal And Ors. v. HC of P&H And Ors. WP(C) No. 687/2021]
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