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Why Indra Jaising decided to give up her ‘Senior Counsel’ Gown after Independence Day?

 

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Shree Rastogi, B.Com LL.B. SHRI RAMSWAROOP  MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY

Indra Jaising is an advocate of the Supreme Court of India. She is an Indian lawyer noted for her legal activism in promoting human right causes. She decided that she will give up her Senior Counsel Gown from 16 August 2017 that is a day after Independence Day and starting a Gown Wapsi Movement and said Legal profession needs reform as she believes in equality and non-discrimination between senior and junior advocates, she also added “There is a lot of favoritism and then there is also nepotism in the sense that people who are already seniors, after them their children also become senior”, she even filed a petition (senior designation) in the Supreme Court of India where she concluded in her arguments in the Petition challenging the manner and method of designation of Senior Counsels, which she believe arbitrary and discriminatory against deserving candidates. During her arguments, she referred to the judgment of the Supreme Court of Balaji case which dealt with the question of conferring the Padma Shri Awards.

The court held that they were satisfied with the fact that there were no guidelines of the conferment of the Award and directed the Government to frame the guidelines. The Court also held that a Padma Shri Awardee cannot add the word Padma Shri etc. to prefix or suffix to the name. In the argument of the case, she made a statement/ submission in a similar manner that a Senior Advocates should not add the prefix “Senior” to his or her name and there should be no distinction between gowns of a senior.

No rules of Bar Council of India are being made mandating different gowns for Senior Counsel and Junior. So they have adopted the whole senior gown only because of the British. That is why, because she herself argued this in the court, therefore she acted according to what she has submitted in the Court. Finally, she decided for Gown Wapsi that from 15 August that is the Independence Day, so we can call it independence from the British’s Trend.

Achievement:

Jaising is the first advocate who achieved the Honor of Senior Counsel in Mumbai, 1986. Jaising has represented her country at various national and international conferences and written extensively on the law and human rights. In 2005, she received the Padma Shri for her service to public affairs. She was also awarded the Rotary Manav Seva Award in recognition of her services to her nation. In 2009, she became the first women to be appointed as Additional Solicitor General of India. She even represented the Gas Tragedy victim’s. From her legal career, she has focused on protection of human rights and rights of women.

Social Work done by her:

She is also a human rights activist. In addition to forging an unprecedentedly successful and distinguished career, she has often been at the forefront of pioneering cases and landmark judgments. Her work and achievements in the field of social justice and equality for women have won her world renown. Much of her work has focused on championing the rights, safety, and equality of women. In 1986, she fought and won the famous Mary Roy case which led to Syrian Christian women being granted equal inheritance rights with their male siblings. She successfully challenged the discriminatory provisions of the Indian Divorce Act, thus enabling Christian women to get a divorce on the grounds of cruelty or desertion, a right previously denied to them. Jaising was involved in the citizens’ initiatives to challenged human rights abuses in terrorisms hit Punjab during the early ’80s and ‘90s. She also represented the pavement dwellers of Mumbai during the mid-1980s when they were facing eviction, thus securing their rights and the safety of their homes. She fought in the Supreme Court of India to secure the victims claim for compensation against the powerful American multinational Union Carbide Corporation. In 1981, along with her husband Anand Grover, she founded the Lawyer’s Collective, an NGO devoted to human rights; which provides funding and legal representation to under privileged Sections of Indian society. Jiasing was instrumental in winning the right of Hindu mothers to be the natural guardians of their minor children, so the children could take their mothers name a hugely important ruling for the rights and status of women in the family.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

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