The Supreme Court today set up a Permanent Committee which will accord senior designation to lawyers in the apex court and high courts.
In case of the apex court, the committee will include the Chief Justice of India— currently Justice Dipak Misra—the Attorney General, two senior advocates and a member of the Bar Association of India. In case of a high court, the committee will include two senior advocates of that court, the Advocate General and a member from the bar.
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices RF Nariman and Navin Sinha, proposed the setting up of a Permanent Secretariat which would collate all information of a candidate who would be considered for a senior designation by the Permanent Committee.
The new structure calls for a unanimous decision by the concerned court’s judges on the final approval of a candidate for the position. It has also given the Bar Association of India representation in the selection process.
While deciding the issue of designating a lawyer as a senior advocate, the committee will also consider the number of years of practice, judgements in cases which a lawyer has been a part of, pro bono litigations and a test of personality, among other criteria.
Names of lawyers considered and approved by the Permanent Committee, will be put before the full court (involving Supreme Court/high court judges as the case may be) which will make a unanimous decision. If case judges fail to arrive at a unanimous decision, a decision will be made through secret ballot.
With inputs from PTI