Recently, the Rajasthan High Court has conferred senior designation on 26 advocates after three years of analysis. Where 11 advocates are from Jodhpur and 15 advocates are from Jaipur. Now many lawyers are claiming that several eminent advocate’s names are left. Many of them are saying that there are more advocates who are senior by age and they are Serving as advocated from many years. So, why they are not designated as senior advocates. Some of them have started to protest also.
Now various questions are coming here that what is the definition of senior advocate? who is eligible for it? Whether it is selected on the basis of age or not? And what is the procedure for it? let's discuss them.
According to section 16 (2) Of the advocates act, 1961 an advocate, by his consent and on the opinion of Supreme Court, and High Court that the advocate have special knowledge and experience in law, will be appointed as senior advocate. So by this definition we can say that a senior advocate is not appointed on the basis of age, rather it is selected on the basis of knowledge and experience in law, which he have.
In 2017 there was a case named as
Indira Jaising vs. Supreme Court of India. (2017 SC)
In this case is the Supreme Court laid down for the criteria’s, on the basis of which the senior advocate will be appointed. Firstly, it should be seen that for how many years he is practicing. Secondly, Legal arguments of the advocate and the pro bono works of the advocate will be seen. In which field of law his expertise in, will be observed. thirdly how many publication of the advocate are there will be observed. and lastly a personality test will be taken. So these are the criteria’s on the basis of which senior advocate is appointed.
The senior advocates are different from the other advocates as there are some restrictions given under Section 30 of the Advocates Act, 1961 for the senior advocates. such as
A senior advocate shall not appear without the advocate on record in Supreme Court and without an advocate in any court or tribunal.
A senior advocate shall not file a vakalatnama in any Court or tribunal.
He shall not accept Instructions to draft, pleading or affidavit.
He shall not accept any brief or instruction from clients directly to appear in the court.
If before being a senior advocate, the advocate have any uncompleted case, then the advocate cannot appear for the case without a junior advocates.
Though there are restrictions there are some privileges also. The senior advocates wear special robes and exercise certain other rights also. the right of pre audiences therefore senior advocates. pre audience means right to be heard before another.
The seniority brings social capital to the senior advocates. it brings honor. in courtrooms judges may indulge with senior advocates more. outside the courtroom, the media and the public do the same.