Merit has No Relationship With the Place of Practice; Late Pandit Kanahiya Lal Mishra is an Example- Writes Lawyer from Lucknow to CJI

The statement given by Supreme Court Bar Association President Sr. Adv Vikas Singh has invited criticism for him from lawyers of all over the country.

The Delhi HC Bar Association was the first to officially write a letter to the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana raising voice against the statement that “Lawyers of the Supreme Court are Meritorious than Lawyers Practicing in High Court. This was followed by Association of Lawyers in Karnataka, Rajasthan etc.

Now from Uttar Pradesh and biggest High Court of the country, Sri Rakesh Chaudhary, a practicing lawyer at Allahabad High Court at Lucknow and former Additional Advocate General of UP, has written a letter to the CJI raising the concern of lawyers practicing at High Court.

Sri Chaudhary writes that request or proposal made by Sri Vikas Singh, Senior advocate is not only indiscreet, unmindful but also derogatory towards the entire legal fraternity. The merit does not increase or decrease by place of practice, particularly in the legal profession the merit is directly proportional to the efforts, dedication and patience of an advocate. 

In response to the criteria of merit stated by the President, SCBA Sri Chaudhary has cited the example of Late Pandit Kanahiya Lal Mishra, Former Advocate General State of Uttar Pradesh, who mainly practiced at Allahabad High Court. He quotes following words of appraise about him:

Justice S.R. Das, Chief Justice of India

Mr. Misra, why don’t you more often appear in the Supreme Court? In the cases in which you appear it raises the standard of our judgments.

Mr. Sheerwai, Senior Advocate

When Mr. Misra arrived and we had consultations, he was quite. I thought the bulk of the argument is going to fall on my shoulders. But after hearing his brilliant arguments for several days, my feeling is, even if I add something more than what has been submitted, I would only be able to scratch or wash off the beautiful varnish put by him.

Sri. S.N. Mulla, Senior Criminal Advocate

Mr. Misra never clamoured for the front line. He took his seat wherever he found one. But he never knew – it was not the front bench but wherever he sat became the focus of attraction.

It has been further stated that so far as the issue of elevation of advocates practicing at Supreme Court as High Court Judge is concerned he can only say the Passion of President SCBA towards his future elections had made him blind even towards provisions of the Constitution of India.

Referring to Article 217 of Constitution, Sri Chaudhary states that the proposal placed by the President SCBA that Advocates practicing at Supreme Court be considered for elevation for High Court Judge, is against the provision of the Constitution of India, as the qualification provided for office of a High Court Judge is that the Advocate must have practice at High Court. Therefore the advocate practicing at the Supreme Court cannot be said to advocate having practice of 10 years at High Court.

In this letter a request has been made to CJI Ramana to take notice of the statement of President, SCBA and direct him to withdraw such an unconstitutional, illegal, and demeaning statement for advocates as class. Further to withdraw assent if given to any such proposal.

On Sunday, the SCBA President Sr Adv Vikas Singh also issued a statement clarifying his statement. Read here:

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