NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has not designated any lawyer as senior advocate in the last three years. The SC, which last designated a lawyer as senior advocate in April 2015, refrained from conferring gowns during the pendency of a petition filed by senior advocate Indira Jaising in July 2015 that sought guidelines for designating lawyers as senior advocates.
In her petition, Jaising had questioned the discrimination meted out to capable advocates when it comes to ‘giving them the gown’. She had alleged violation of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution in the procedure followed for designating lawyers as senior advocates. She had also contended that the method of designation by vote leads to unhealthy lobbying with judges and victimises ethical lawyers who do not lobby.
The court in its ruling on October 12, 2017 ordered that selection for designation be done strictly on the basis of points-based evaluation of lawyers, which will also include interviewing the candidates. More than seven months have passed since the conclusion of the case, however, the SC has failed to follow up on its own judgment. Although the SC is yet to act on its order, the high courts of Kerala and Punjab & Haryana have made rules to bring the process in consonance with the SC judgment.