SC: Won't interfere with HC move to elevate 16 lawyers

SC: Won't interfere with HC move to elevate 16 lawyers

The Supreme Court has declined to interfere with a Karnataka High Court decision that elevated 16 lawyers in Bengaluru to senior advocates.

A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice U U Lalit on Monday asked advocates T N Raghupathy and M Veerabhadraiah, who challenged the decision, to show confidence in the system evolved by the High Court.

“You must concede to the collective wisdom of the institution... we brought in voting system (among judges on making advocates senior) here and everybody (judge) expresses his opinion. We are not saying that the system we are following is perfect. What we will tell the HC when our system is not satisfying everyone,” the bench told senior advocate N Devdas, who appeared for the petitioners.

The petitioners claimed that the High Court had elevated 16 lawyers to senior advocates “without any deliberation on their profile, competence and background”. There is no rule and it is being done through majority votes, they contended.

‘Depends on judges’ votes’

“Yes, there is no statutory norm, it all depends on judges’ votes. But why should you pull down your own colleagues? If (the) majority of judges say something, you should respect,” the bench told the petitioners.

The court instructed them to intervene in a pending petition filed by senior advocate Indira Jaising about reforming the prevailing practice.

The petitioners had challenged the notifications issued by the High Court registrar general on June 30 and July 14, 2014. The Advocates Act, 1961, empowers the court to elevate lawyers to senior advocates.

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