A plea was filed in Delhi High Court seeking directions to the Bar Council of India to conduct the All India Bar Council Examination through the online mode. Earlier, the All India Bar Council examination was to be held on August 16, 2020, but, on 30th July 2020, through a notification, the Bar Council of India canceled the scheduled date till an indefinite period and stated that a new date will be provided afterward.
Mr. Purav Middha filed the petition to look up for the grace period to be granted to the examinees, for holding provisionally registered application certificates from March 21, 2020, i.e. after the beginning of the national lockdown till the next date of examination.
The petitioner has contended that the Bar Council of India has conducted no examination for almost 11 months till now, which is violating examinees' fundamental rights under Article 14, 16, and 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution.
The petitioner showed his dissent by arguing, ‘Bar Council of India is completely ignorant regarding the wellbeing of the young lawyers who are holding their provisionally registered application, which is violation their fundamental rights under Article 14, 16 and 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution.
The Bar Council of India was founded in the year 1961. It is a statutory body established under Section 4 of the Advocates Act, 1961. The members of the Bar Council of India are selected from amongst the advocates in India, who represent the Indian Bar. The body monitors the professionalism, etiquette, and exercises of the disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar. The body also sets standards for legal education and grants recognition to Universities who degree in law serves as a qualification for students to enroll themselves as advocates after graduation.
History of the All India Bar Council Examination:
For the 1st time, on April 10, 2010, the Bar Council of India resolved to conduct an All India Bar Examination which will test an advocates’ ability to practice law as their profession. It is required for an advocate to pass this exam to practice law. The minimum marks required to pass the examination is 40% of the total. The exam is held biannually in the month of August-October and March-May. The duration of the exam is 3 hours and 30 minutes, which is conducted in offline mode. The syllabus of the examination is published 3 months before the examination date. There is no maximum limit for attempting the examination for an advocate. Once the advocate passes the examination, he/she will be entitled to a Certificate to Practice Law throughout the country. All the law graduates must appear in the examination if they want to practice law and get enrolled as the Advocate under Section 24 of the Advocates Act, 1961.
About Bar Council of India:
According to the Advocates Act 1961, the Bar Council of India consists of the members elected from Bar Council of each state, the Attorney General of India, and the Solicitor General of India, who are the ex-officio members. The members of the Bar Council are elected every five years.
The council elects its own chairman and vice-chairman for a period of 2 years from amongst its members. The chairman acts as the Chief Executive and Director of the council.
Currently, there are 21 members in the Bar Council, and the Chairman of Bar Council of India is Mr. Manan Kumar Mishra, who preceded Mr. Biri Singh, and the Vice-Chairman is Mr. Satish Abarao Deshmukh.