CJI recuses from hearing plea on senior lawyers' status

CJI recuses from hearing plea on senior lawyers' status

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Monday recused from hearing a plea to declare that all those lawyers who have crossed the age of 60 and have been actively practising at the Bar for more than 30 years be designated as senior advocates.

Advocate Mathews J Nedeumpara, appearing for 'National Lawyers' Campaign for Judicial Transparency and Reforms' sought to argue the matter before a bench of Chief Justice Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna.

The petitioner contended the apex court's judgement of October 12, 2017, vesting the ultimate say in the matter of designation of lawyers as senior advocates with the full court of the apex court or the full courts of the High Courts were detrimental to the independence of the Bar, its very existence and of the judiciary.

The CJI, however, recused from taking up the matter, which would now be posted before another bench.

The petitioner, an association of lawyers, contended if all those advocates who regularly practiced in court for a considerable period of time cannot be designated as senior advocate, then the decision of the apex court on September 6, 2018 designating some lawyers and retired judges of various High Courts, as senior advocates be held to be violative of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.