The fight for supremacy is the one which divided the world into many parts. But there was no one who was able to become supreme then the almighty. But there is one or some persons who are the greats of their respective fields and therefore generally referred as seniors. There was always a scenario in past that the one with the more experience is one who is senior. But, if we look the current global position, then it’s totally clear that the age is just a number to call someone senior. The thing that matters wholly is the skills and the knowledge and qualities. So is the case of senior advocates in Supreme Court of India.
Senior Advocates is basically a designation that is extended to the lawyers in the Supreme Court of India or high courts. The basic idea behind this honour to them is to recognise their superior ability and their standing at the bar. The motive is to plead them for their contribution to the law profession and moreover to the world of justice.
Now the top most thought that strikes over body part above our shoulders are that how the Senior Advocates are designated? So, before coming to the answer lets once again clear that the basis of seniority is not the experience solely, but the skills and knowledge hold a major share on such basis. So, for designation of senior advocates, The Advocates Act,1961, empowers the Supreme Court of India and high courts of respective states to designate lawyers as Senior advocates. For the designation of the senior advocate in supreme court, an advocate should have been practising for at least 10 years and their name must be also expected to be recommended by a minimum of 5 sitting judges.
In some high courts, the minimum number of judges for the recommendation of a lawyer is 2 and the candidate also requires a lawyer to have a mandatory minimum number of courtroom appearances. Income is also a basis of prescription in some high courts. On a recommendation, the application of a lawyer is placed before the full court of the Supreme Court or the high court. In the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice may exercise his discretionary power in exceptional cases, but the status is usually granted by the full court unanimously.
Now once understanding who are senior advocates, the other thing that lets us unfocused is what are benefits of becoming a senior advocate or how are they different from others? If we look at the law, then there is no such benefit stated in The Advocates Act,1961. Thus, officially there are not a specific advantage of the status. However, the status of such senior advocates is represented through the respect and recognition such lawyers get at the bars and from the bench too in courtrooms. And they also get a financial advantage as clients are ready to pay them high fees too. Rest, there is no much difference between them and other advocates. A designated senior advocate is identified by his black gown that has a rectangular flap attached to the shoulders.
The fight for supremacy and seniority will go on till ages as it affects the self- esteem and status of the individuals. But to break this fight in the profession of law, The Advocates Act,1961, has stated the guidelines itself to get the designation of the senior advocate. And thus, not like the past where experience was the basis of seniority, the present and future are guided by the skills and knowledge and same is in the case of SENIOR ADVOCATES.