Anamika Dewan vs Registrar SCI and Ors

WP (C) No. 50/2023

The daughter was not a practising lawyer on the day of her father’s death, so the Supreme Court dismissed her request to be given access to his chamber.

Judges Shrish Roy and Prashant Kumar Mishra’s division bench noted that Rule 7B of the Lawyers’ Chambers (Allotment and Occupancy) Rules states that the right to consideration accrues upon the death of the allotted and that the date of consideration of the application for allotment by the allotted’s children cannot be changed.

“There could be cases when the committee may not be able to consider an application immediately on death. There could also be a situation where the application is kept pending for one reason or another. Therefore, if either the date of consideration of the application or the date of qualification of the applicant is taken into consideration, the operation of Rule 7B will be inconsistent and will generate different results,” the court said.

Advocate Anamika Dewan, the petitioner in this case, had begged for the allocation of his father’s chamber. On June 13, 2021, her father, the late Shri Balraj Dewan, who was an advocate-on-record in the Supreme Court, passed away. She hadn’t started practising law at that point because she hadn’t enrolled as a lawyer until July 22, 2023, after passing the bar test.

The petitioner expressed her concerns regarding the chamber designated for her father. Nevertheless, she argued in the petition that the competent authority had not given the petitioner’s request any favourable consideration.

Ms Meenakshi Arora discovered from Senior Counsel’s submission on her behalf that the petitioner had already qualified as a lawyer on July 22, 2023, when the case was brought up for consideration on November 20, 2023. She also stated that the Court had issued an order. on January 16, 2023, to facilitate the petitioner’s making a representation to the Allotment Committee and to give directions on how to consider the application, following the law and on its merit.

Additionally, Ms. Arora contended that the allocation can be made by empathetically implementing Rule 7B of the Rules’ provisions because the petitioner made a new representation and the Committee reviewed the case on a date when the petitioner had already enrolled as an attorney.

To prevent any contradiction in the method of consideration, the Court, however, dismissed the submission and held that the right to consideration under Rule 7B accrues on the date of the allotted’ death.

It is also important to note that a lawyer’s chamber on the Supreme Court’s grounds is highly sought after by attorneys, and a long line of lawyers with far more experience is waiting to be assigned a chamber. It should not be forgotten that chambers are only sometimes available, usually due to the passing of the designated person,” the court stated.

As a result, the Court denied the writ petition and ordered that the petitioner be allowed to remove their possessions from the designated chamber at a time that works for both them and the authorities.

Adv. Khanak Sharma

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