Supreme Court of India on the administrative side on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, published a list of 105 advocates, who have applied for the “senior advocate” designation by the Supreme Court. Through a notice issued by the Secretary, Committee for Designation of Senior Advocates, Supreme Court of India, views/suggestions from stakeholders have also been solicited regarding the published names of the advocates aspiring to obtain the senior designation. Stakeholders have been requested to do the same within 15 days hence. Of 105 advocates who have sent in their applications, 15 are are women.
Supreme Court of India invites suggestions/views from stakeholders regarding a total of 105 advocates who have applied for the conferment of senior designation by the Supreme Court. Suggestions/views to be submitted within 15 days from today. pic.twitter.com/PnZxchO0wj
— The Leaflet (@TheLeaflet_in) November 13, 2018
In 2015, Senior Advocate Indira Jaising approached the Supreme Court seeking a fair and transparent procedure for the designation of senior advocate. A two-judge bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton F Nariman in a landmark judgment on October 12, 2017 ruled that the process of designation would be dealt with by a committee, indicating a point-based format for assessment of applications. On August 6, 2018, the Supreme Court on the administrative side issued guidelines called the Supreme Court Guidelines to Regulate Conferment of Designation of Senior Advocates, 2018. This was done in compliance with the decision of the Supreme Court.
Thrilled to see the beginning of a reform of the legal profession I initiated, the end of monopoly and arbitrariness in designating of Senior Lawyers in the Supreme Court – I hope. https://t.co/zh6r4snOEw
— indira jaising (@IJaising) November 13, 2018
According to the guidelines of the Supreme Court, a Permanent Committee, Committee for Designation of Senior Advocates, shall be headed by the Chief Justice of India and shall consist of two senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General of India and a member of the Supreme Court Bar Association, nominated by the chairperson and members. It will also have a Permanent Secretariat.
As per the guidelines, the CJI or any other judge may make a recommendation in writing if they are of the opinion that an advocate deserves to be conferred with the senior designation. The Secretariat shall invite applications from retired Chief Justices and judges of the High Courts, and advocates seeking conferment of the distinction every year in the months of January and July. An Advocate-on-Record may also submit an application to the Secretariat.
The eligibility criterion for the designation is a minimum of 10 years combined standing as an advocate or a district judge, or as a judicial member of any tribunal, whose qualification for eligibility is not less than that prescribed for a district judge. Retired Chief Justices and judges are also eligible for the designation.
The application/proposal would be published in the Supreme Court website inviting suggestions and views of other stakeholder. The Committee shall scrutinise and assess as per a 100-point index. Post assessment, the candidature will be sent to the Full Court for voting. However, in case of Chief Justices and Judges of High Courts, the names shall be straightaway sent to the Full Court.