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The Supreme Court today issued a slew of guidelines including setting up of a permanent committee led by the Chief Justice of India to accord senior designation to lawyers. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that besides the CJI, the committee would include a senior most apex court judge or a high court judge, as the case may be in the committee. The bench also comprising Justices R F Nariman and Navin Sinha proposed setting up of a permanent secretariat which would collate all information of a candidate who would be considered for confirming of senior designation by the permanent committee. Besides the CJI and senior most SC/HC judge, the committee would also include a representative of the bar and Attorney General in case of apex court and Advocate General in case of high courts. While deciding the issue of designating a lawyer as senior advocate, the committee would also consider aspects such as number of years put in the practise, judgements in cases to which a lawyer has been a part, the pro bono litigations and the test of personality. A lawyer will have to undergo the test of personality in which he will be interviewed for being designated as a senior lawyer. The bench also made it clear that the permanent secretariat will put the name of candidates being considered for senior designation on the website for inviting suggestions of stakeholders. It said after the names are considered and approved by the permanent committee, the name will be put before the full court (involving SC/HC judges as the case may be) which will decide to accord senior designation to an advocate either unanimously or majority through secret ballot.
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