Reluctance On The Part Of Eminent Lawyers To Join The Bench- SC Remarks In A Contempt Petition Filed Against Union
The Supreme Court has remarked that there has been reluctance on the part of eminent lawyers to join the Bench.
The Court clarified that successful lawyers are not accepting this honor of joining the Bench because of the long-prolonged process of appointment and putting their careers on hold.
The three-judge Bench of Justice SK Kaul, Justice Abhay S. Oka, and Justice Vikram Nath was hearing a contempt petition filed against the Union Ministry of Law and Justice for not following the timelines as fixed by the Court for approving the appointment process.
The Court held that due to such a delay the lawyers do not want their life to be dragged into uncertainty further which has led to the withdrawal of their consent by those whose names are recommended to be elevated to the Bench.
Attorney General R. Venkataramthe ani submitted a status report before the Apex Court and informed the Court that the High Courts are not making recommendations six months in advance of the vacancy which leads to the vacancies being accumulated.
The Court while referring to the submission noted the reason why the High Courts are not making recommendations in time and thus observed –
"The main reason is that the window of the age in which these recommendations are made are broadly from 45 to 55 years. Requisite talent of the Bar has to be tapped in this age group. There are difficulties in some courts on account of the availability of eligible persons. But more than that, the endeavour is required to persuade the lawyers to join the Bench. An elevation to the Bench is always considered an honour. However, there has been reluctance on the part of the successful lawyers to accept the honour and what we have stated in our last order is out of the experience of not being able to persuade such eminent people to join the Bench with one factor largely weighing in with them apart from any other issue, i.e. the long prolonged process of appointment and putting their career on hold. Thus on one hand, they are making a monetary sacrifice to come on to the Bench in a larger cause of justice but in that process they do not want their life to be dragged into an uncertainty."
The Court thus held that High Courts must take effective steps to make recommendations in time so as to not carry the burden of the absence of recommendations being made in time.
Cause Title – The Advocates Association Bengaluru v. Barun Mitra & Anr.