Guidelines to give lawyers “senior designation” made tough by Supreme Court

Guidelines to give lawyers "senior designation" made tough by Supreme Court

NEW DELHI:  The Supreme Court of India (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 their suitability for the elevated designation,” said the CJI-led Supreme Court bench.

A list of lawyers aspiring for senior designation will be prepared by the committee after examining the background of the applicants. The list then will be forwaded to a full court for voting. Candidates rejected will be eligible for reconsideration only after a gap of two years, said the Supreme Court.

A senior advocate guilty of professional misconduct or other offence would face proceedings for withdrawal of designation,” stated the Supreme Court.

 The Supreme Court also 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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