Punjab & Haryana HC modifies procedure for designating senior advocates

Punjab & Haryana HC modifies procedure for designating senior advocates

Varun Chirumamilla

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has modified the procedure and criteria for designating lawyers as Senior Advocates.

These modifications have been made to comply with the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in Indira Jaising v Supreme Court of India and others.

The most striking feature of the modified procedure is that advocates practicing in the subordinate courts, who are registered with the State Bar Council, and have a standing of not less than ten years, are now eligible for designation as Senior Advocates.

Previously, designation as a Senior Advocate was a privilege exclusive to those advocates who had ten or more years standing at the High Court.

In keeping with the judgment in Indira Jaising’s case, all matters pertaining to the appointment of a Senior Advocate will now be referred to a Permanent Committee of the three senior most judges of the High Court, the Advocate General of the state, and one other member appointed from the Bar.

The Committee will be assisted by a Secretariat, which will furnish all the information the Permanent Committee needs to vet a potential designee, publish the proposal of designation on the High Court website, and invite views and suggestions from stakeholders.

Once this process is completed, the Committee will interview the candidate. The interview will count for 25 points.

10 points will be awarded to those with more than ten years’ standing at the Bar, and 20 points to those with over twenty years’ standing. The legal formulations advanced by the advocate concerned in reported and unreported cases, pro bono work, and domain expertise will count for 40 points.

Once cleared by the Committee, the names will be sent to the Full Court for approval, which will vote openly. If a secret ballot is necessary, the views of the majority will be carried.

Income is not a criterion as laid down in the Indira Jaising case, and all unsuccessful cases can be reviewed after two years.

The Kerala High Court too has framed new Rules to govern designation of lawyers as Senior Advocates.

Read the modification


Read the Judgement


Also Read

Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news