Thursday, October 12, 2017

SC issues tough guidelines to give lawyers 'senior designation'

The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday said it will set up a a permanent committee headed by the Chief Justice of India to decide which lawyers are to be given seniority.

The five-member committee will include the most senior Supreme Court judge and high court judge and a representative of the concerned bar .

"Conferring senior advocate designation will no longer be the sole discretion of judges. A permanent body will interview applicants (lawyers) to determine whether they are suitable for the elevated designation," said the CJI-led SC bench.

The committee will prepare a list of lawyers aspiring for seniority after examining the background of the applicants.

The list will then be forwarded to a full court for voting. Those rejected will be eligible for reconsideration only after a gap of two years, the SC said.
The top court also proposed setting up of a secretariat which will collate applications and details to confer seniority to lawyers.
"A senior advocate guilty of professional misconduct or other offence would face proceedings for withdrawal of designation," the SC said.
The SC said that its condition for seniority appear to be stricter than those for appointing SC and HC judges.

"The elaborate and stringent exercise for senior designation appears tougher than the existing scrutiny for appointment of Judges to HCs and SC."

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