The proposal of SCBA president Vikas Singh which urged CJI NV Ramana to consider Supreme Court advocates for elevation as High Court judges is being criticised by lawyers and advocates associations from across the country.
SCBA president Vikas Singh’s statement that even after being “professionally more meritorious” than their colleagues at High Court, Supreme Court advocates lose the opportunity for being considered for elevation.
Rajasthan High Court Advocates’ Association
RHCAA has written to CJI Ramana urging him not to consider the SCBA proposal as it will be detrimental to the autonomy of HC collegiums and humiliating for the advocates practicing in these courts.
“This proposal not only interferes with this privilege and this autonomy of the high courts, but also questions the talent and competence of advocates practicing in the various high courts of the country,” wrote RHCAA president Nathu Singh Rathore.
All India Lawyers Union
AILU has also written a letter to CJI expressing its objection against the SCBA proposal while stating that this is not only against constitutional provisions & federal principles but also highly derogatory to advocates practicing in High Courts.
AILU has also written about the need for the formation of an independent National Judicial Commission with Constitutional status, with comprehensive powers for selection –appointment, transfer and inquiry into misdemeanours of Judges of the Constitutional Courts and, for protection and development of independence of Judiciary and its transparency.
“Considering practice before the Supreme Court alone would be violative of the Constitution as experience and practice before High Courts with respect to the matters coming under High Court jurisdiction is very much necessary for elevation of an advocate as a High Court judge,” stated AILU’s President & Member of Parliament Mr Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharya, and General Secretary Mr P.V. Surendranath.
Delhi High Court Bar Association
“The attempt to create a distinct class of lawyers practicing before the Hon’ble Supreme Court for being considered for elevation as Judge of the Hon’ble High Court is not only unfair, arbitrary and discriminatory but is likely to create a resentment amongst a large number of lawyers in the High Courts. This will lead to disgruntlement and demoralisation of a large section of the Bar,” DHCBA wrote to CJI NV Ramana.
“This claim is not only preposterous but in fact humiliates lawyers practicing before other Hon’ble Courts throughout the country. This claim made by the SCBA is not only false and misleading but also undermines the competence and talent of lawyers practicing before the High Courts. It is no secret that several well known jurists have evolved from amongst those exclusively practicing before the High Courts,” the letter reads
Calcutta High Court Bar Association
“Such a move, if true, interferes with the independence and purity of the selection process and militate against the law laid down by constitution benches of the hon’ble supreme court of india relating to appointment of judges of hon’ble high courts. The same will also be against constitutional norms,” CHCBA wrote to CJI Ramana
Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Vikas Singh on May 31 proposed to consider elevating top court advocates as High court Judges. SCBA released a press note on June 8 communicating that CJI has considered its proposal to elevate SC judges as HC judges.
Responding to the criticism, Singh clarified that there was no intention whatsoever to cast any aspersion on the lawyers practicing in the different HCs and he had raised the long-pending demand of apex court lawyers.
Appointment and Conditions of the Office of a Judge of a High Court – Article 217 of Indian Constitution