Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Monday struck down its own ruling passed earlier in connection with designating senior lawyer.

A division bench of Justice CR Dash and Justice Pramath Patnaik termed the sub-rule (9) of Rule-6 of High Court of Orissa (Designation of Senior Advocates) Rules, 2019 as ultra vires.

A division bench of Justice CR Dash and Justice Pramath Patnaik termed the sub-rule (9) of Rule-6 of High Court of Orissa (Designation of Senior Advocates) Rules, 2019 as ultra vires.

“The sub-rule (9) of Rule-6 of the High Court of Orissa (Designation of Senior Advocate) Rules, 2019 is declared as ultra vires of the guidelines/norms framed by the Supreme Court,” the court ruled.

As many as 50 lawyers had applied for the designation of senior advocates last year. On August 19, 2019, the court issued a notification designating five lawyers as senior advocates.

On September 4, 2019, the Court had issued a fresh notification calling fresh applications from the eligible lawyers to be designated as senior advocates.

Following the notification, two writ petitions were filed in the HC. 

While hearing the matter, the bench said, “The notification shall have effect till a fresh decision is taken by the Full Court regarding designation of senior advocate on consideration of all 48 applications including that of the five advocates designated as senior advocates”.

“In our considered view, after the first notification, when the process under Rule- 6 was on, it was irregular on the part of the High Court to issue the notification dated 04.09.2019 . Instead of expanding the ambit of selection process, it put the selection process into more confusion. We are, therefore, of the view that issuance of notification dated 04.09.2019 is not valid in the eye of law,” the HC said.

Meanwhile, the court has set July-end as the deadline for the completion of the process of designating senior advocates.

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