Madras Higher Court suggests ‘no’ to reservation for girls in designation of a lawyer as ‘Senior Advocate’


The Madras High Court on December 24, 2022, held that the designation of a lawyer as 'Senior Advocate' is not a post but a privilege and honor conferred upon a member of the Bar purely on merit, ability, and his/her successful career , irrespective of gender.  file

The Madras Large Court on December 24, 2022, held that the designation of a law firm as ‘Senior Advocate’ is not a write-up but a privilege and honor conferred upon a member of the Bar purely on advantage, skill, and his/her prosperous job , irrespective of gender. file | Photograph Credit rating: M. Moorthy

Designation of a law firm as ‘Senior Advocate’ is not a put up but a privilege and honor conferred upon a member of the Bar purely on merit, means, and his/her effective vocation, irrespective of gender. Thus, these kinds of a privilege can’t be conferred as a result of reservation, the Madras Higher Court has held.

Justices M. Sundar and N. Sathish Kumar held so even though dismissing a writ petition filed by advocate S. Lawrence Vimalraj of Madurai, looking for 50% or at the very least 30% reservation for ladies attorneys in the designation. The judges held that the litigant had no locus standi to file the case considering that he was not an aggrieved occasion.

The Bench pointed out that the litigant himself had clarified in his affidavit that he had not filed the case as a public fascination litigation petition and also conceded that he was not an applicant for staying selected as ‘Senior Advocate’. It meant that he was not an aggrieved person whose rights had been influenced, it explained.

Direct verdict

Regardless of not locating any purpose to entertain the writ petition on the preliminary ground of locus standi, the judges dealt with the deserves of his contentions, way too, and gave their conclusions. Authoring the guide verdict for the Bench, Justice Sundar held that the petitioner’s plea for reservation for girls had no legs to stand.

He pointed out that a full of 161 attorneys experienced used subsequent to notifications issued by the Superior Court in 2020 (99 names) and 2022 (62 names) calling for purposes for the designation. Of the 161 applicants, only 9 were gals. Two of people women of all ages applicants did not attend an conversation with a committee headed by the Performing Main Justice.

“This leaves us with 7 gals candidates. When there are only seven ladies candidates out of a total of 161 candidates, even on a demurrer, the plea for 50% or at minimum 1/3rd reservation for women has no legs to stand,” the judge wrote. He also highlighted that all 9 girls had applied only just after accepting the rules which do not deliver for reservation.

The judge stated that even the Supreme Courtroom in Indira Jaisigh vs. Supreme Court docket of India (2017) experienced not suggested the provision of any reservation in the designation as Senior Advocate. He also refused to acknowledge the contentions lifted by the Females Lawyers Association (WLA) which had been permitted to intervene in the writ petition.

whole court

The WLA, represented by Senior Advocate Chitra Sampath, had contended that the complete listing of 161 candidates should be placed in advance of the Comprehensive Court (a overall body of all judges of the Higher Court) for having a get in touch with on designation, without having any filtering by a committee headed by the Acting Chief Justice and comprising the Advocate-Normal and others.

Justice Sundar said these kinds of a rivalry would volume to expanding the scope of the writ petition. He observed that the Madras Substantial Court docket Designation of Senior Advocate Policies of 2020, as they stand nowadays, do not allow the Complete Court to scrutinize the knowledge of the committee which had the benefit of interacting with person applicants ahead of shortlisting the candidates.

The choose also turned down the plea that a prospect nominated by the Acting Chief Justice or any other choose of the High Court need to be saved on a increased pedestal than all those who had been nominated by two current Senior Advocates or all those who had used on their personal with the endorsement of two Senior Advocates.

He stated the 2020 Rules envisage full parity among the the candidates, irrespective of no matter whether they have been proposed by the Main Justice, named by a long lasting judge, proposed by two designated Senior Advocates with a lot more than 15 yrs of standing in the Bar, or on a self Software endorsed by two selected Senior Advocates.

“The Rules do not make a difference even among a prospect advisable by the honorable Main Justice and a applicant recommended by a permanent judge while the honorable Chief Justice is the administrative head of the Higher Court and is the first among equals only on the judicial aspect the judge concluded.

Concurring verdict

In his separate but concurring impression, Justice Sathish Kumar traced the record of designation of senior advocates since the British period and stated the distinction of Senior Advocate does not occur about immediately but receives conferred upon a law firm of repute on reaching recognised or predetermined standards.

“It is a privilege centered upon the impression of the court thinking of skill, standing at the Bar or exclusive know-how of or experience in regulation. Thus, it is a subjective selection, however, primarily based on aim criteria. In these a see of the make a difference, this court considers it suitable to keep that this sort of a assert cannot be produced as a make a difference of appropriate,” he wrote.

Right after the judges pronounced their verdict, the writ petitioner’s counsel sought a certification from the Division Bench allowing his customer to acquire the make a difference on attraction to the Supreme Court. However, the judges turned down this plea, much too, on the floor that they did not find any considerable dilemma of regulation to be answered by the Supreme Court.

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