judicial system

Supreme Court frames guidelines to designate lawyers as senior advocates

It decided that a special committee will interview candidates and put forward their choices based on various criteria.

The Supreme Court on Thursday laid down the framework for the basis on which lawyers should be assigned the designation of senior advocates. These guidelines will be applicable to all High Courts and the Supreme Court, Bar and Bench reported.

A permanent committee will interview candidates and pitch their choices for those deserving of the designation based on several factors, the Supreme Court said. The committee will include the chief justice of India, two senior-most judges and the attorney general.

The decision was made on a petition filed by senior advocate Indira Jaising in July 2015. She had sought guidelines to bring in transparency and an overhaul of the “opaque and discriminatory system” of designating lawyers as senior advocates.

“There should be a deemed designation for law officers and retired judges as it is believed that senior advocates get preferential treatment in court,” she had said, according to The Indian Express. “The new system should consider various aspects, including integrity, pro bono work, expertise in specialised areas of law among other.”

The petition challenged the constitutional validity of sections 16 and 23(5) of the Advocates Act of 1961, which recognise two classes of advocates – senior advocates and other advocates. Section 16(2) stipulates who may be designated as a senior advocate.

In August, Attorney General KK Venugopal had argued that lawyers should be accorded the designation of a senior advocate on the basis of merit, not the number of cases they had won. He said the tag must be given out sparingly to “certify that a particular counsel performs his job better than the non-seniors”, Mint reported.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The cost of setting up an employee-friendly office in Mumbai

And a new age, cost-effective solution to common grievances.

A lot has been theorised about employee engagement and what motivates employees the most. Perks, bonuses and increased vacation time are the most common employee benefits extended to valuable employees. But experts say employees’ wellbeing is also intimately tied with the environment they spend the bulk of the day in. Indeed, the office environment has been found to affect employee productivity and ultimately retention.

According to Gensler’s Workplace Index, workplace design should allow employees to focus, collaborate, learn and socialise for maximum productivity, engagement and overall wellbeing. Most offices lag on the above counts, with complaints of rows of cluttered desks, cramped work tables and chilled cubicles still being way too common.

But well-meaning employers wanting to create a truly employee-centric office environment meet resistance at several stages. Renting an office space, for example, is an obstacle in itself, especially with exorbitant rental rates prevalent in most business districts. The office space then needs to be populated with, ideally, ergonomic furniture and fixtures. Even addressing common employee grievances is harder than one would imagine. It warrants a steady supply of office and pantry supplies, plus optimal Internet connection and functioning projection and sound systems. A well-thought-out workspace suddenly begins to sound quite cost prohibitive. So, how can an employer balance employee wellbeing with the monthly office budget?

Co-working spaces have emerged as a viable alternative to traditional workspaces. In addition to solving a lot of the common problems associated with them, the co-working format also takes care of the social and networking needs of businesses and their employees.

WeWork is a global network of workspaces, with 10 office spaces in India and many more opening this year. The co-working giant has taken great care to design all its premises ergonomically for maximum comfort. Its architects, engineers and artists have custom-designed every office space while prioritising natural light, comfort, productivity, and inspiration. Its members have access to super-fast Internet, multifunction printers, on-site community teams and free refreshments throughout the day. In addition, every WeWork office space has a dedicated community manager who is responsible for fostering a sense of community. WeWork’s customised offerings for enterprises also work out to be a more cost-effective solution than conventional lease setting, with the added perks of WeWork’s brand of service.

The video below presents the cost breakdown of maintaining an office space for 10 employees in Vikhroli, Mumbai and compares it with a WeWork membership.

Play

To know more about WeWork and its office spaces in India, click here.

This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of WeWork and not by the Scroll editorial team.