An Advocate has filed a PIL against very high fees worth Rs 16,400 charged from the new advocates to enroll them. The respondents will be replying to this, on November 5. The bench of this case was a Division Bench, which consisted of Justice Ravi Shankar Jha and Justice Arun Palli, who had issued a notification to Punjab and Haryana Bar Council and Bar Council of India regarding the same.
“Advocates Act, 1961, is the primary legislation governing legal practitioners in India. It includes governing aspects pertaining to the constitution of Bar Councils, admission and enrolment of advocates, their rights to practice and their conduct,” divulged by the petitioner’s counsel Mr. Padhuman Garg. He further added that under Section 24 (1) (f) of the Advocates Act, 1961, a person has to pay Rs 600 to the state bar council and Rs 150 to the Bar Council of India if the person wants themselves to enroll as an Advocate. In case, the applicant belongs to the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe category, the enrollment fee payable to the State Bar Council is Rs 100 and Rs 25 to the Bar Council of India.
In contrast to the Legislative Mandate, the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana used to charge unnecessarily high enrollment fees. State Bar Council used to charge an additional fee of Rs 8,600 as enrolment fee, Rs 1050 to Bar Council of India, Rs 1,000 as the building fund, and Rs 5,000 towards welfare and insurance fund. And, if in case, an applicant wants to get them enrolled the same day, the State Bar Council used to charge an additional amount worth Rs 5,000 toward the circulation fee, Mr. Padhuman Garg added. The petitioner argued, that “in addition to the interdiction as prescribed by the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961, even the Bar Council of India rules does not give the permission to the State Bar Councils to levy such an additional fee towards enrolment and additional fee.”