Advocate is a person authorized to appear in a litigation on behalf of a party. An advocate should possess a law degree and is enrolled with a Bar Council, as prescribed by the Advocates Act, 1961. Advocates are the only class of persons legally entitled to practice law. Advocates provide legal advice to the clients. After being authorized to appear in a case by a client who has signed a vakalatnama, advocates prepare cases and argue them in Court. In the Bombay and Calcutta High Courts there is a separate class of legal practitioners, known as solicitors, who prepare the case, but do not argue in Court. When appearing in a courtroom, an advocate usually dresses in black and white, and wears a band and gown. Any complaint against an advocate is made to the Bar Council of India. See junior advocate, advocate-on-record, senior advocate, amicus curiae, vakalath.
Advocate on record is an advocate who has passed a qualifying examination conducted by the Supreme Court of India. The examination is taken by an advocate who has been enrolled with a Bar Council for at least five years and has completed one year training with an Advocate On Record of not less than five years standing. Only an AOR can file a vakalath, a petition, an affidavit or any other application on behalf of a party in the Supreme Court. All the procedural aspects of a case are dealt with by the AOR, with the assistance of a registered clerk. It is the AOR''s name that appears on the cause list. The AOR is held accountable, by the Court, for the conduct of the case. Any notices and correspondence from the Court are sent to the AOR, and not to the party.
Amicus curiae is the word translated from the Latin as 'friend of the Court'. An advocate appears in this capacity when asked to help with the case by the Court or on volunteering services to the Court.
Senior Advocate is an advocate who has been designated as such by either the Supreme Court or the High Court. A Senior Advocate cannot file a vakalathnama, appear in the Court without another advocate or advocate-on-record, cannot directly accept an engagement to appear in a case or draft pleadings. A senior advocate argues cases in Court upon instructions from another advocate. Senior advocates wear gowns that have flaps on the shoulders.
Fee charged for Advocates for the various tasks performed is not standardized. Some advocates charge a lump sum amount for dealing with an entire case, others charge separate fees for each task - e.g., drafting, filing, legal advice, arguing. Senior advocates generally charge a separate fee for every hearing. In the majority of Public Interest Litigation cases, these fees have been waived by the advocates. When appearing on behalf of a legal aid committee, an advocate receives expenses and nominal fees, at no cost to the party. In some Public Interest Litigation cases the Court has awarded costs to the party.
Table of Fee payable to advocates is available in the Second Schedule Part I of Supreme Court Rules 2013. Some of the fees mentioned in Supreme Court Rules 2013 are:
|Legal Service||Fee on brief not exceeding Rs.||Refresher not No. exceeding Rs.|
|Defended appeals, suits or reference under Article 143 or Article 317 (I) of the Constitution or under any Statute or defended petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution||Leading Counsel||24,000/-||24,000/-|
|Associate Advocate, if any Advocate-on Record for instruction||12,000/-||6,000/-|
|Undefended appeals.||One Fee||14,000/-||No refresher|
|Petitions for special leave (or appeals on a certificate heard ex- parte).||Leading Counsel||8,000/-||No refresher|
|Advocate-on Record when not pleading but only instructing||4,000/-||No refresher|
|Undefended petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution||Leading Counsel||15,000/-||7,500/-|
|Advocate-on Record when not pleading but only instructing||8,000/-||4,000/-|
|Notices of motion other than petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution when opposed.||Leading Counsel||15,000/- per appearance||No refresher|
|Advocate on Record||8,000/- per appearance||No refresher|
|Petitions in courts for review||Leading Counsel||15,000/-||No refresher|
|Advocate on Record||10,000/-||No refresher|
|Opposed applications for investigations in Chambers||One fee||10,000/-|
|Unopposed motions and Chamber applications and review applications in taxation||One fee||5,000/-|
|Attending taxation or hearing Judgment||One fee||2,500/-|
|Attending settlement of Index and for taking other steps for preparation of the record||One fee||5,000/-|
|Fee to the Amicus Curiae appointed by the court||6,000/- upto admission stage and 10,000/- on final disposal stage or hearing on regular side after admission/ grant of leave, or as directed by the Court/ Chief Justice.|
|Fee to the Panel Advocate appointed by the Registry||6,000/- upto admission stage and 10,000/- on final disposal stage or hearing on regular side after admission/ grant of leave, or as directed by the Court/ Chief Justice|
What is Public Interest Litigation (PIL) under Article 32 in India? Who can file PIL in India? Guidelines to file PIL? What are the conditions? How to file Public Interest Litigation under Article 32 of Indian Constitution? Which are the cases cannot be filed as PIL?