NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today said it was open for correcting the system for designating lawyers as senior advocates while refusing to entertain a petition challenging 16 such designations.
"You withdraw this petition. We will allow you to intervene in the similar matter pending before this court," a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said referring to the petition filed by former Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Indira Jaising in which she has questioned the mechanism of designating lawyers as senior advocates by the Supreme Court.
"We are open to correcting the system, challenging earlier designations would not reflect well on the Bar," the bench, also comprising Justice U U Lalit, said. The CJI said that instead, lawyers should place "some confidence" in the "collective wisdom" of the bench.
"You must finally concede to the collective wisdom. There should be some confidence somewhere. Some time, even we are surprised that someone has emerged successful (in getting designated). "We are open to correcting the system but challenging past designations is not good for the Bar. There should be some comity at the Bar," the bench said.
The court was hearing an appeal against the Karnataka High Court's order refusing to entertain the petitions of advocates TN Raghupathy and M Veerbhadraiah. "There are no statutory norms for designating advocate.
How can you say 'No, no don't designate him'. We can understand if the lawyers designated are practising in say Sikkim and get designated by the Karnataka High Court. "But these are lawyers practising regularly there, and the majority of the judges have agreed to these designations. I still remember some of them. They were doing well then, they would be doing well now," the CJI said.
The bench said it was willing to give liberty to the petitioners to intervene in the case filed by Jaising after which they withdrew the petition. "Whatever has happened, has happened. Intervene and argue on what should be the system of designation. We are open to correcting the system," it said.
Earlier, the apex court had agreed to hear a petition challenging senior designations of advocates made by Meghalaya High Court. The court, however, had refused another petition challenging designations made by the Kerala High Court.