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Keywords: – Bench, Supreme Court, Senior Advocate, Vacation.

The Supreme Court firmly stated that senior counsels are not allowed to present or argue cases, resulting in the rejection of four senior counsels’ requests today.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi presented a matter before a Bench consisting of Justices Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanullah, despite the Supreme Court’s rejection of mentioning by senior counsels as per the Advocates-on-Record Rule.

Upon noticing the presence of the senior advocate, the Bench commented, “Mr. Singhvi, you are making a mention before a vacation bench. We will not entertain a senior counsel. Please instruct your Advocate on Record to make the mention.” Singhvi accepted the remark with a smile.

Shortly thereafter, another incident occurred when Senior Advocate Anjana Prakash was instructed by Justice Nath not to present before a vacation bench, but instead, to provide an opportunity for junior counsels to enhance their skills.

“What are you doing here, in vacation? We won’t hear you. We will hear the counsel next to you”, the Bench said.

Once the mentioning phase concluded, the Court proceeded with hearing cases. During the discussion of a bail matter, Senior Advocate Siddarth Dave presented arguments before the Court.

The Bench reiterated its stance, stating, “Other senior counsels have argued in this court. I have argued a matter in this very court [Court No. 6],” expressed Dave. The Bench clarified, “Not before this Bench! We cannot entertain senior counsels.” Dave’s instructing counsel then proceeded to argue the matter, and the Bench issued a notice in the case. After some time, former Justice and Senior Advocate Dama Seshadri Naidu appeared when another matter was called. “The Advocate on Record is currently abroad,” Seshadri stated. However, the Bench remained steadfast in its position, and another counsel argued the plea.

During the hearing of a plea filed by Suneetha Nareddy, who challenged the anticipatory bail granted to Kadapa MP YS Avinash Reddy, accused of her father Vivekananda Reddy’s murder, Nareddy herself appeared to present arguments. Due to the prohibition on senior counsels appearing before the court, the Bench permitted Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra to assist the petitioner.

Upon Luthra’s commencement of arguments, the Bench remarked, “Mr. Luthra, by allowing you to argue, we may face accusations of discrimination! You are only permitted to assist, not argue.”

In May, at the beginning of the Supreme Court vacation period, a Bench comprising Justices JK Maheshwari and Sanjay Karol declined Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi’s request to mention a matter before them. The Bench cited vacation bench norms, specifying that only the instructing counsel should make mentions.

Written by- Mubashara Fatima, College name- Unity PG and Law College, Semester- 6th, intern under Legal Vidhiya


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