The Supreme Court today (March 12, 2019) held advocate Mathews Nedumpara guilty of contempt of court and issued notice to him for hearing him on the question of sentence.
The judgment was delivered by a Bench comprising of JusticesRohinton Nariman and Vineet Saran.
On March 5, 2019, the Bench was hearing a plea filed by National Lawyers’ Campaign for Judicial Transparency and Reforms challenging the current system of designation of lawyers as Senior Advocates. During the hearing, Nedumpara referred to Senior Advocate Fali Nariman in his submissions which provoked the court to issue contempt notice against Nedumpara.
The Bench also dismissed the petition by National Lawyers' Campaign which contended that the classification of advocates as senior and non-senior is discriminatory, favouring “elite class of lawyers, the kith and kin, nephews and juniors of sitting and former Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, so too of celebrated lawyers, Chief Ministers, Governors et al, and a few first generation lawyers who are all politically connected or are close to big industrial houses.”
The petition demanded that the system of Senior Advocates should be abolished and if the system is to continue, designation of lawyers should be automatic on attaining the age of 62 with a minimum practice of 35 years at the Bar.