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  • 07 November, 2023

  • 2 Min Read

Advocate-on-Record system (AOR)

Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) pulled up an Advocate-on-Record (AoR) for filing a frivolous case before the court.

  • AORs are a pool of elite Delhi-based lawyers whose legal practice is mostly before the SC but they can appear before other courts too.
  • Need for AORs – A lawyer with special qualifications, picked by the Supreme Court itself, is equipped to appear for a litigant as the SC is a court of the last opportunity for the litigant.

AoR is broadly based on the British practice of barristers and solicitors where barristers wear the black gown and wig to argue cases while solicitors take up cases from clients.

  • Eligibility criteria – It is prescribed by Supreme Court Rules, 2013. They are
    • To have at least 4 years of practice and at least 1 year training with a court approved AoR.
    • Securing at least 60% score in the exam set by the Court itself with at least 50% in each subject.
    • Having an office in Delhi within a 16 km radius of the SC and to give an undertaking to employ, within 1 month of being registered as an AoR, a registered clerk.
  • Role – In Supreme Court, only an AoR can file cases and thus forms an essential link between the litigant and the Court.
  • An AoR might engage other lawyers including senior counsels to argue before the highest court of the country.
  • Governing Rules – According to Section 30 of the Advocates Act, any lawyer enrolled with the bar council is entitled to practice law before any Court or tribunal in the country.

Article 145 of the Indian Constitution states that the Supreme Court is empowered to make rules and regulate its own procedure for hearing cases.

Senior advocates in India are designated by the Court and wear a distinct gown who cannot solicit clients and are only briefed by other lawyers, say for example, an AoR.

Pleaders are the arguing counsels in the High Courts in India.


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