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A month after the Delhi High Court called for applications seeking conferment of designation as Senior Advocate, around 170 lawyers have applied for Senior Designation.
Update: Our sources have informed us that 188 lawyers have applied for Senior Designation.
Applications were required to be submitted to the Secretariat of the Committee for designation of Senior Advocates latest by 4.30 p.m. on May 25, 2019.
The applications were called for pursuant to the newly notified High Court of Delhi Designation of Senior Advocate Rules, 2018.
Thereafter, a petition was filed challenging the Rules insofar as it calls for a joint proposal by three Senior Advocates to recommend a lawyer for designation as a Senior Advocate.
On May 15, the Delhi High Court stayed the operation of this Rule. A Division Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup J Bhambhani had thus allowed advocates to directly apply to the Committee for designation of Senior Advocates.
The Court had also directed the Registrar General to place the petition as well as the counter affidavit submitted by the High Court before the Full Court for reconsideration of the Rule.
The Rule was defended on the ground that it was an additional screening process to enable the Committee to judge a candidate’s standing at the Bar and social knowledge.
Replying to the defence, Justice Menon remarked,
“Why should there be anything which would influence the decision of the Court? The objective satisfaction is that of the Court, not Senior Advocates.”
Keeping in mind the May 25 deadline for making an application for designation, the Court allowed the advocates to forward their applications sans recommendation from three Senior Advocates.
The petitioners had, however, dropped their prayer seeking a direction to the Permanent Committee to invite “meritorious candidates from marginalized castes, genders and religious minorities” in case no applications are received from the section due to “lack of social confidence and networking abilities”.
The petition was filed by Advocates Nandita Rao and Farrukh Rasheed, through Advocate Ruchi Singh.
It is now learned that around 170 lawyers have applied for conferment of the Senior gown by the Delhi High Court.