New guidelines for designation of senior advocates in the SC
- The Supreme Court has published new guidelines for the designation of senior advocates practicing mainly in the Apex Court.
What do the new guidelines say?
- The new guidelines prescribe the minimum age as 45 years to apply for the ‘senior advocate’ designation.
- This age limit may, however, be relaxed by the Committee, the Chief Justice of India, or a Supreme Court judge if they have recommended an advocate’s name.
- Although the 2017 guidelines say that the CJI along with “any judge” can recommend an advocate’s name for designation, the 2023 guidelines specify that the CJI along with “any Judge of the Supreme Court” may recommend in writing the name of an advocate for designation.
What are the 2018 guidelines?
- The guidelines discouraged the system of ‘voting by secret ballot”, except in cases where it was “unavoidable.”
- According to the 2018 guidelines, a “Committee for Designation of Senior Advocates,” or “permanent committee,” was created and empowered with powers of conferment.
- The CJI-chaired committee was to consist of two senior-most SC judges, the Attorney General of India, and a “member of the Bar” nominated by the chair and other members.
- The Committee was to meet twice a year, at least.
- The CJI or any other judge could recommend the name of an advocate for designation.
- Alternatively, advocates could submit their applications to the “Permanent Secretariat”, which would evaluate them on criteria like 10–20 years of legal practice, be it as an advocate, district judge, or judicial member of an Indian tribunal where the qualification for eligibility is not less than that prescribed for a district judge.