T.N Raghupathy Vs. The State Of Karnataka: Karnataka HC recently disposed of a Batch of Petitions challenging the designation of eighteeen lawyers as Senior Advocates back in November 2018

T.N Raghupathy Vs. The State Of Karnataka: Karnataka HC recently disposed of a Batch of Petitions challenging the designation of eighteeen lawyers as Senior Advocates back in November 2018

The Karnataka High Court issued a notice to all respondents in a petition, who challenged the appointment of eighteen lawyers as Senior Advocates made by the High Court itself. The Bench consisted of Chief Justice of The High Court L Narayana Swamy and Justice PS Dinesh Kumar to the petition filed by the advocate TN Raghupathy. The allegation which was mentioned in the petition was flouting of directions provided by The Supreme Court in Indira Jaising v. Union of India, which prescribed the guidelines for the appointment of Senior Advocates.

The petitioner is practicing for forty-three years in Bengaluru and regard to section 16(2) of the Advocates Act, 1961 and based on the guidelines prescribed by the Supreme Court, The Karnataka High Court had formed Karnataka (Designation of Senior Advocates) Rules, 2018. As per the guidelines, the Committee had to assess in the category of Personality and suitability of the concerned Advocate and award need to be given in four different heads. The Committee established a selection process to interview the applicants and question which were asked to advocates as its whims and fancy. There were fifty marks which were adjudged by the committee as minimum marks in considering for the position as the Senior Advocate in the High Court. The Committee selected eighteen advocates as the Senior Advocates in the High Court by following the guidelines and rest were excluded. The full court accepted the applicants chosen by the committee out of those 18 members, one Advocate Sri. T.S. Amar Kumar has died and rest is arrayed as the respondents in the petition.

Section 16 in THE ADVOCATES ACT, 1961

Senior and other advocates

(1)  There shall be two classes of advocates, namely, senior advocates and other advocates.

(2)  An advocate may, with his consent, be designated as senior advocate if the Supreme Court or a High Court is of opinion that by virtue of his ability 1[standing at the Bar or special knowledge or experience in law] he is deserving of such distinction.

(3)  Senior advocates shall, in the matter of their practice, be subject to such restrictions as the Bar Council of India may, in the interest of the legal profession, prescribe.

(4)  An advocate of the Supreme Court who was a senior advocate of that Court immediately before the appointed day shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to be a senior advocate:

Provided that where any such senior advocate makes an application before the 31st December 1965 to the Bar Council maintaining the roll in which his name has been entered that he does not desire to continue as a senior advocate, the Bar Council may grant the application and the roll shall be altered accordingly.


  • Raghupathy had challenged the senior designation formed by the High Court in 2014.
  • The applicants whose applications were rejected had filed the petition against the appointment of eighteen advocates by committee.
  • Ignored the experience of advocates who have practiced for more than thirty years.
  • 25 marks out 100 are reserved for the test of personality and suitability.
  • The Rest of the marks are in the category of the number of years in service, Judgment (reported and unreported), Publication by Advocate is 20, 40 and 15, respectively.

Edited by J. Madonna Jephi

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje


  • Bar & Bench, Karnataka High Court issues notice in Senior Designations challenge https://www.barandbench.com/news/karnataka-high-court-issues-notice-in-senior-designations-challenge
  • Live Law.in, Karnataka HC Upholds Conferment of Senior Designation on 18 Advocates https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/karnataka-hc-upholds-conferment-of-senior-designation-on-18-advocates-read-judgment-152252
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Asif Iqbal
I am pursuing my integrated five years bachelors of law degree from Centre for Juridical Studies, Dibrugarh University. I do have an interest in reading books written by Arundhati Roy, Ashwini Sanghi, Ramachandra Guha and others. Any personality whom I like is Karl Marx and Che Guevara, as latter did write the book “Motor Cycle diaries” which is based on upon his journey on a bike with his friend. Whereas I do like to binge-watch series and out of those which I have seen till now are two and a half men, Suits, Sherlock and Friends to name a few. Apart from that, I do have an interest in writing articles and stories along with being a part of any discussions or debates.