SC designates 37 lawyers as 'senior'

SC designates 37 lawyers as 'senior'

With the full court's decision taken on March 27, the number of advocates designated as senior by the Supreme Court rose to 420. Representative image

The Supreme Court has designated as many as 37 lawyers as 'senior advocates', under Section 16 of the Advocates Act, 1961.

The number of lawyers to get senior designation is the largest in recent years.

With the full court's decision taken on March 27, the number of advocates designated as senior by the Supreme Court rose to 420.

This is also for the first time the decision to grant 'senior' designation to advocates was taken in terms with the apex court's judgement passed in 2017 in the Indira Jaising case wherein fresh guidelines including interview and award points were introduced for the purpose.

Among those designated as 'senior advocates' are Karnataka's additional advocate general Devadatt Kamat, Cauvery and other rivers dispute-famed lawyer Mohan V Katarki, Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan, Sanjay Parikh, Gopal Sankaranarayanan, Anitha Shenoy, Aparajita Singh, Menaka Guruswamy, and Uttar Pradesh's additional advocate general Aishwarya Bhati.

BJP spokesperson and former Uttar Pradesh additional advocate general Gaurav Bhatia also got designated as senior advocate.

Prior to the 2017 judgement, the decision on senior advocates designation was taken on the basis of secret voting among judges and by the rule of the majority. Different high courts followed their own criteria.

The fresh norms mandated setting up of a permanent committee with a secretariat headed by Chief Justice of India, or chief justice in case of high courts, two senior-most judges with attorney general/advocate general, who would nominate another bar member, to scrutinise the candidates, conduct interview and award points before referring the matter to the full court.