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SC dismisses plea challenging designation of lawyers as senior advocates

It was a unique petition as the petitioners demanded cancellation of the designation - 'senior advocate'. The petitioners claimed that the designation promotes inequality.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Published on: October 16, 2023 11:58 IST
Supreme Court of India
Image Source : REPRESENTATIONAL PIC Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition that seeks cancellation of the provision to designate lawyers as senior advocates. A bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul junked the plea that challenged sections 16 and 23 (5) of the Advocates Act, 1961. The petition was filed by advocate Mathews J Nedumpara and seven others.

The petitioners had challenged sections 16 and 23 (5) of the Advocates Act, 1961, claiming these "creates two classes of lawyers, senior advocates and other advocates, which in actual practice has resulted in unthinkable catastrophe and inequities which Parliament certainly would not have contemplated or foreseen".

While section 16 of the Advocates Act pertains to senior and other advocates, section 23 (5) says senior advocates shall have pre-audience over other lawyers and their right of pre-audience inter se shall be determined by their respective seniority.

The plea had claimed that the designation of lawyers as senior advocates, which is creating a special class of advocates with special rights, privileges and status not available to ordinary advocates, is unconstitutional, being violative of the mandate of equality under Article 14.

(With PTI inputs)

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