The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, dismissed a petition challenging the Advocate-on-Record (AoR) system by which cases are filed in the apex court [Nandini Sharma v. Registrar, Supreme Court of India & Ors]..A Bench of Justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy rejected the plea which had called into question Rule 1 (b), Rule 5 & Rule 7 (c) of Order IV of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 as being "unreasonable, discriminatory, oppressive, absolute in nature".These Rules lays down which of the lawyers are competent to file petitions and address the Supreme Court..The petitioner, advocate Nandini Sharma, argued that the AoR system creates a situation where advocates who have a law degree and have passed the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) are prohibited from filing petitions without the AoR’s signature, and cannot address the Supreme Court without paying hefty fees to the AoR."Additionally, the absolute nature of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 is benefitting some special class of advocates only, having an exclusive jurisdiction, and creating an elite group at the exploitation of the Litigants & their Nominated Counsels," the plea said.It was also pointed out that 80 per cent of lawyers who write the AoR exam fail, as a result of which most lawyers are denied practice in the Supreme Court."...the aggrieved parties from all over India are forced to file petitions either in-person or exploited to hire only limited numbers of rich advocates (AORs), who can afford offices & registered clerk in Delhi within 16 km radius of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Such practices are creating hindrances in seeking justice before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, specially to parties from distant India, and a costly affair," the plea further stated..She claimed that in her case, an AoR had taken away the original case file of her client from the Supreme Court Registry, and is keeping the same as "security for extortion of more money."It was also argued that the AoR, despite having withdrawn her vakalatnama in the case, was not returning the original case file. Further, the AoR has "withdrawn her authority in favour of" Sharma, prompting the litigant to engage a different nominating counsel..Sharma thus made the following prayers, among others, in her petition:To declare Rule 1 (b) & Rule 5 & Rule 7 (c) of Order IV of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 to be in contravention of Article 14 & Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution of India. To issue directions to Supreme Court Registrar to set aside the AoR entrance examinations, conducted by Recruitment Cell of the Supreme Court like Public Service Commission To prohibit the Registrar from creating an exclusive jurisdiction for AoRs while denying practice rights to all the advocates. To issue directions to Bar Council of India and Law Ministry to promulgate new laws or amend the Advocates Act, 1961 for formulating universal practice rules for advocates To issue directions to the respondents to make case filing procedures approachable, simple and easy in place of keeping case files under mechanical defects in Supreme Court Registry for months together under the absolutism of AOR system. To issue directions to the Registrar for granting financial assistance to advocates for maintaining an office and a registered clerk in Delhi, within 16 km radius of the Supreme Court..Advocate Radhika Gautam appeared for the Bar Council of India.