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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

National Lawyers’ Campaign for Judicial Transparency and Reforms & Anr. Vs. The Bar Council of India & Anr.” filed in the High Court of Delhi to challenge the constitutional validity of Sections 16 and 23(5) of the Advocates Act, 1961. The argument is that hearing of this writ petition should await the disposal of the said petition which is possible only if our order dated 21st October, 2016 is recalled and the matter listed for hearing afresh. 3. In Writ Petition(C) No.6331 of 2016, the constitutional validity of Sections 16 and 23(5) of the Advocates Act, 1961 which provide the statutory basis for designation of lawyers as senior advocates appears to have been challenged. Now, if the source of power for such designation is itself under challenge it would be more appropriate to hear the matters together by transferring the petition pending in the High Court to this Court. This is particularly so because issues touching designation of lawyers as per the prevalent procedure appears to be causing considerable dissatisfaction among a section of the bar which fact is evident from the large number of interventions made in these proceedings and an equally large number of solutions proposed at the bar for improvement of the system. A feeling among those opposing the process of designation that they were not heard fully before the matter was reserved for orders only adds to their frustration and avoidable misgivings. 4. In the circumstances, it would be more appropriate if the matter is set down for fuller arguments afresh along with Writ Petition (C) No.6331 of 2016, which is hereby transferred to this Court for hearing and disposal. 5. In light of what we have said above, our order dated 21st October, 2016 shall stand recalled and the matter set down for final hearing along with transferred Writ Petition (C) No.6331 of 2016 in the month of February, 2017. The parties may complete pleadings in the transferred case during the intervening period.

                                        R E P O R T A B L E

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                         CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

                      WRIT PETITION (C) NO.454 of 2015


INDIRA JAISING                               ...Petitioner

                                   Versus

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
THROUGH SECRETARY GENERAL AND ORS.           ...Respondents


                                  O R D E R

T.S. THAKUR, CJI.

1.    We had on 21st October, 2016 heard learned  counsel  for  the  parties
and  the  interveners  at  some  length  and   reserved   the   matter   for
pronouncement of orders.  An  application  was  in  the  meantime  filed  on
behalf of Shri R.R. Nair seeking recall of our  order  dated  21st  October,
2016 for a two-fold reason.  Firstly, the application points out  that  when
the matter was taken-up for hearing on 21st October, 2016 the Court did  not
fully hear submissions on behalf of what the application  describes  as  95%
of the non-designated lawyers.  Mr. Nedumpara,  advocate,  alone  was  heard
for  a  short  while,  but  even  Mr.  Nedumpara  was,  according   to   the
application, not in a position to formulate the points on  which  he  wanted
to address this Court during the short  time  available  to  him.   He  was,
therefore, asked to give written submissions in support of  his  case  which
may not be conducive to justice keeping in view the grave importance of  the
questions that fall for determination of this Court.



2.    Secondly, the application refers to Writ Petition (C) No.6331 of  2016
titled “National Lawyers’ Campaign for Judicial Transparency and  Reforms  &
Anr. Vs. The Bar Council of India & Anr.” filed in the High Court  of  Delhi
to challenge the constitutional validity of Sections 16  and  23(5)  of  the
Advocates Act, 1961.  The argument is that hearing  of  this  writ  petition
should await the disposal of the said petition which  is  possible  only  if
our order dated 21st October, 2016 is recalled and  the  matter  listed  for
hearing afresh.

3.    In Writ Petition(C) No.6331 of 2016, the  constitutional  validity  of
Sections 16  and  23(5)  of  the  Advocates  Act,  1961  which  provide  the
statutory basis for designation of lawyers as senior  advocates  appears  to
have been challenged.  Now, if the source of power for such  designation  is
itself under challenge it would be more  appropriate  to  hear  the  matters
together by transferring the petition pending in  the  High  Court  to  this
Court.  This is particularly  so  because  issues  touching  designation  of
lawyers as per the prevalent procedure appears to  be  causing  considerable
dissatisfaction among a section of the bar which fact is  evident  from  the
large number of interventions made  in  these  proceedings  and  an  equally
large number of solutions  proposed  at  the  bar  for  improvement  of  the
system.  A feeling among those opposing  the  process  of  designation  that
they were not heard fully before the matter was  reserved  for  orders  only
adds to their frustration and avoidable misgivings.



4.    In the circumstances, it would be more appropriate if  the  matter  is
set down for fuller arguments afresh along with Writ  Petition  (C)  No.6331
of 2016,  which  is  hereby  transferred  to  this  Court  for  hearing  and
disposal.



5.    In light of what we have said above, our  order  dated  21st  October,
2016 shall stand recalled and the matter set down for  final  hearing  along
with transferred  Writ  Petition  (C)  No.6331  of  2016  in  the  month  of
February, 2017. The parties may complete pleadings in the  transferred  case
during the intervening period.



                                                      ..................CJI.
                                                                (T.S.THAKUR)





                                                      ....................J.
                                                      (DR. D.Y. CHANDRACHUD)





                                                      ....................J.
                                                          (L. NAGESWARA RAO)
New Delhi;
January 2, 2017

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