The Advocates Act makes a provision for two kinds of advocates i.e. Senior Advocates and advocates. However, the Supreme Court of India has, in exercise of its rule making power, made a provision for advocate on record. The distinction amongst them are as follows:
(i) SENIOR ADVOCATES
Senior Advocates are designated as such by the Supreme Court of India or by any High Court. The Court can designate any advocate, with his consent, as Senior Advocate if in its opinion by virtue of his ability and standing at the Bar or special knowledge or experience in law, the said advocate is deserving of such distinction. A Senior Advocate is not entitled to appear without an Advocate-on-Record in the Supreme Court or without a junior in any other court or tribunal in India. He is also not entitled to accept instructions to draw pleadings or affidavits, advise on evidence or do any drafting work of an analogous kind in any court or tribunal in India or undertake conveyancing work of any kind whatsoever, but this prohibition shall not extend to settling any such matter as aforesaid in consultation with a junior.
Only these advocates are entitled to file any matter or document before the Supreme Court. They can also file an appearance or act for a party in the Supreme Court. No other High Court in India has a similar provision.
(iii) OTHER ADVOCATES
These are advocates whose names are entered on the roll of any State Bar Council maintained under the Advocates Act, 1961 and they can appear and argue any matter on behalf of a party in any court or tribunal. However, in the Supreme Court, they are not entitled to file any document or matter before the Court.
If one wants to practice as an advocate-on-record in the Supreme Court he or she needs an additional qualification. He has to practice for 4 years as an advocate and thereafter has to intimate to the Supreme Court that he has started taking training with a Senior Advocate on record because he intends to become an Advocate-on-record. After the expiry of one year’s training, he has to appear for an examination conducted by the Supreme Court itself. After an advocate passes this examination he must have a registered office within a radius of 10 miles from the Supreme Court building and a registered clerk. It is after this that the Chamber Judge of the Supreme Court accepts him as an advocate-on-record.
Examination for AoR Exam includes 4 Papers
Paper-I Practice and Procedure
Paper-III Professional Ethics
Paper-IV Leading Cases
This website may provide you information pertaining to AoR examination.
Balraj Singh Malik v Supreme Court of India, through Its Registrar General