The Madras High Court has issued a notification inviting applications or proposals for the designation of Senior Advocates.
The notification has been issued in the wake of the Senior Designations' Committee's decision on September 14 to go ahead with the designation process, although certain concerns were voiced by the Tamil Nadu Senior Advocates Forum over the High Court's rules on the matter.
As per a notification issued on Wednesday, the applications are to be made on or before October 15 at 4 pm.
The applications can be made in the format prescribed under the High Court's Senior Advocate Designation Rules on all working days at the designated Counter near South Gate of the Madras High Court premises (Gate No.7).
The application or proposals should be submitted in six hard copies, complying with all the provisions of the Rules, along with a soft copy in pen drive.
The Permanent Committee for the Designation of Senior Advocates has also informed that the applications will be processed and published by October 31, 2020 in terms of Rule 6(3) of the Rules.
Earlier the Tamil Nadu Senior Advocates Forum had sent a representation to the Senior Designation Committee over some of the Rules, including the minimum age cap of 45 years to be eligible for consideration and the bar on Senior Advocates from seeking adjournments, among other concerns.
The Forum had also pointed out that the Supreme Court is also presently considering the issue while urging that the High Court's rules be kept at abeyance until a final decision is taken.
The Committee has now intimated its decision to continue receiving fresh applications, although it is informed:
In Rule 10, which concerns the withdrawal of senior advocate designation for professional misconduct, it was unanimously considered appropriate to introduce the words “unbecoming of a Senior Advocate” after the word “conduct” and before the word “or”. This amendment may, therefore, be placed before the Full Court by circulation and be, accordingly, dispatched for notification thereafter.
In Rule 8 (1)(f) which concerns the restrictions that would be imposed on those designation Senior Advocates, it was clarified that the word “Standing Counsel” does not include either the Advocate General, or the Additional Advocate Generals of the State, or the Additional Solicitor General of India, as they do not file Vakalatnama/Memo of Appearance.
As regards the minimum age cap of 45 years for being eligible to be considered for Senior Advocate Designation, the Committee has recommended that an interim application be moved in the Supreme Court for clarity, given that it is considering the issue presently in the case of Indira Jaising v. Supreme Court of India.
The Committee has said that such an application may be moved,
".... so as to make a request to the Court to give an indication for a uniform pattern to be applied, and in the event any orders are passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, or directions given, the matter shall be again placed before the Committee for consideration.
This apart, it is informed that.
"The Committee at this stage does not find any other necessity for bringing about amendments in the existing Rules as suggested in the representations."
Further, the Committee's meeting minutes also inform that so far 33 applications are pending consideration, i.e.:
24 recommendations have been received from Judges for designating Senior Advocates
3 recommendations have been made by Senior Advocates.
In addition, 6 applications made prior to the announcement of the Rules have been received and are pending, since the last designations took place in December, 2016.
Read the Notification:
Read the Meeting Minutes: