SC dismisses plea on senior advocate status

SC dismisses plea on senior advocate status

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking that advocates who have 30 or 35 years of practice and have crossed 60 years of age, be accorded senior advocate status.

A bench of Justices Rohinton F Nariman and Vineet Saran also held lawyer Mathews Nedumpara, who had filed the petition, guilty of contempt of court.

Issuing notice to Nedumpara, the bench asked him to file his response in two weeks, following which the quantum of punishment would be decided.

Earlier, Justice Nariman had come down heavily on the advocate when he made reference of noted jurist Fali S Nariman to support his arguments that sons and daughters of judges were awarded the designation of a senior advocate.

Justice Nariman, who is the son of Fali Nariman, had warned Nedumpara that such an argument was akin to inviting contempt action.

Nedumpara, who was arguing for a lawyers’ body named ‘National Lawyers’ Campaign for Judicial Transparency and Reforms’, had contended that the provision for designating a lawyer as a senior advocate was violative of the right to equality and discriminatory as sons and daughters of judges were being given priority.

The petition had submitted that the advocates who have 30 or 35 years of practice and have crossed 60 years of age, should be declared as senior advocates. It had challenged the validity of Section 16(2) of the Advocates Act, 1961 that allows the grant of the senior designation.

The plea had also stated that it “creates a different class of lawyers”.