SC To Hear Plea Seeking Reforms For Senior Advocate Designation On 22nd February


The Supreme Court announced on Thursday that it would begin hearing Senior Advocate Indira Jaising’s appeal for changes to the Senior Advocate designation process on Wednesday (22nd Feb, 2023).

The top court has directed that the petition to be listed as the first item on the Wednesday Board 

A Bench of Justice S.K. Kaul, Justice Manoj Misra, and Justice Aravind Kumar clarified that the hearing would be limited to the issues raised by its decision 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 bench stated.

The 2017 judgment had granted liberty to be revisited for modification if so required.

“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,” the bench pointed out.

As the case was up for hearing on Thursday, Mr. Tushar Mehta, the Solicitor General of India, informed the Supreme 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.

Advocate Mr. Vikas Singh and Advocate Mr. Aman Lekhi, who were appearing for the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and the Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record Association (SCAORA), respectively, also informed the Bench that they will file their notes.

In this regard, the bench ordered, “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 case as soon as possible because any further postponement would only delay the process of naming senior counsel.

The Court acknowledged that several parties had yet to submit their written arguments in accordance with its order from September 12, 2012, even though it accepted the Senior Advocate’s submission.

The bench decided to move the hearing by a week’s time.

The SCAORA recently filed an application requesting that the Apex Court direct the Committee for Designation of Senior Advocates to expedite and complete the process of designating senior advocates based on applications received in February 2022.

It has been pointed out that, in violation of the ‘Supreme Court Guidelines to Regulate the Conferment of Senior Advocate Designation,’ after the previous round of designations was completed in 2019, the exercise was not restarted until February 2022.

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