The Supreme Court has said it was open to suggestions from the bar to improve the system of designating lawyers as senior, but the final decision would remain with the judges.
A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice A M Khanwilkar said the Bar could form a committee and the court could take into account the views of the committee.
“Your recommendation is that Bar should decide. Then we have reservation. Your are not satisfied with the old system.
Can we have any other system? You tell us. We can take the opinion of the Bar. But the ultimate decision has to be with the judges,” the CJI observed on Friday while adding that judges of the High Court have been retiring and they also needed to be acknowledged by designating as seniors.
Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president and senior advocate Dushyant Dave said “There are lot of youngsters (at the Bar). Your lordships should encourage them. We can sit together and jointly revise the process (for designating Senior Advocates)”.
He said that some reforms should be carried out and the voice of the Attorney General and the Bar be heard.
The Chief Justice has earlier said that the old system of designating lawyers as senior advocates was not bad and could be continued if there were no objections.
The bench posted the matter for further hearing on October 17 as both Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who is appointed as amicus curiae in the matter, and petitioner senior advocate Indira Jaising were not present in the court.
On April 4, the apex court had said it was open for correcting the system for designating lawyers as senior advocates, while refusing to entertain a petition challenging 16 such designations.
The CJI said that instead, lawyers should have “some confidence” in the “collective wisdom” of the bench.
In the PIL, Jaising had termed the present process as “opaque, arbitrary and fraught with nepotism.”
She had claimed that the advocates taking up matters of human rights, public interest litigations were ignored and said there was need to analyse data relating to the cases argued, judgements delivered in their matters and their contribution to jurisprudence and legal aid programmes.
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