In this article, Shrey Verma discusses the prerequisites for writing the All India Bar Exams.
The All India Bar Examination had been introduced by the Bar Council of India in 2011 to regulate the entry of professionals in the legal field. With as many as 1700 law colleges across India producing close to 4-5 lac law graduates, it became indispensable to ensure only those who possess minimum competence to be allowed to practice law at all level of courts.
The examination takes place bi-annually with the object to examine the capability of an advocate to practice the profession. It is aimed to assess the knowledge of the law at a basic level along with the applicant’s analytical ability.
Is passing the exam compulsory?
The All India Bar Examination shall be mandatory to all law graduates who wish to practice in a court of law. A law graduate has to first register himself/herself as an advocate under Section 24 of the Indian Advocates Act, 1961 then proceed with passing the examination so as to receive a Certificate of practice from the Bar Council of India which entitles a person to practice law in courts.
Essentials of the Examination
(i) the examination is held twice a year in various places simultaneously which are prescribed by the Bar Council of India from time to time;
(ii) the examination is set to test the candidates on the parameters of substantive and procedural laws;
(iii) the scope and syllabus of such substantive and procedural law shall be dictated by the Bar Council of India three months prior to the examination;
(iv) the minimum percentage of marks required to pass the exam to be decided by the Bar Council of India;
(v) there is no limitation on the number of attempts an advocate may take to pass the examination;
(vi) the Bar Council, along with the committee of experts, to determine the syllabus, paper setting, moderators, evaluators, model answers, reading material and other relevant.
(vii) the format and the manner in which the paper will be presented shall be determined by the Bar Council of India;
(viii) the candidates to have the option to give the examination in any one of the 11 languages provided by the Bar Council of India in the application form;
(ix) upon successful passing of the examination, the candidate to be given a Certificate of practice by the Bar Council of India.
(i) the candidate appearing should be a citizen of India;
(ii) the candidate must possess an LL.B. degree from any college recognized by the Bar Council of India. (an Indian National holding a foreign law degree shall be entitled to give a different qualification examination consisting of six subjects which are to be prescribed by the Bar Council of India);
(iii) the candidate should be enrolled as an advocate as per the provisions of the Indian Advocates Act, 1961;
(iv) law students who have graduated after 1st July, 2010 are eligible to give the examination.
Hence, the candidates who do not meet the eligibility criteria are required not to register themselves. If on a later stage, a candidate is found disqualified on any of the abovementioned grounds, his candidature is to be cancelled.
Qualification Examination for Indian Nationals holding a foreign degree
Indian Nationals holding a foreign law degree are required to give a Qualification Examination organized by the Bar Council of India. The examination comprises of six papers consisting of a 100 marks each. Papers are made limited to the following subjects that consist of:
(i) Constitution of India;
(ii) Contract Law and Negotiable Instruments Act;
(iii) Company Law;
(iv) Civil Procedure Code and Limitation Act;
(v) Criminal Procedure Code;
(vi) The Indian Legal Profession and Code of Ethics.
The questions asked here are subjective as opposed to being objective in the All India Bar Examination. Nevertheless, the Qualification Examination serves the same purpose as that of the All India Bar Examination i.e. to give a permit to practice law.
Number of attempts
The Bar Council of India via a circular clarified that an Advocate who has graduated after 1st July, 2010 can give the All India Bar Examination as many times as it requires him or her to pass such examination. Even an advocate who has been enrolled for more than two years is not barred from appearing in the examination.
The syllabus of the All India Bar Examination as of now is limited to 19 subjects consisting of substantive, procedural and special laws. The subjects are taken from the curriculum prescribed by the Bar Council of India to three-year and five-year law courses across India. The contents of the syllabi are decided by the Bar Council of India and may change from time to time. Each subject/topic carries different weightage in the marks. The syllabus of the recently concluded All India Bar Examination can be found in Annexure 1.
How does the examination work?
(i) The All India Bar Examination consists of 100 multiple choice questions limited to the subjects discussed above.
(ii) The subjects are divided into two categories, first, those which form the ‘foundation’ of law and carry a relatively higher percentage of the questions, second, those which are comparatively new to the legal field and the candidates should have knowledge of such laws.
(iii) The questions are divided into two parts, ‘knowledge-based’ and ‘reasoning based’ to test the overall capability of a candidate.
(iv) The All India Bar Examination is an ‘open book’ examination i.e. the candidates may bring reading materials inside the examination room and can consult the same while answering the questions. However, no candidate should bring any kind of electronic devices, such as laptops or mobile phones.
(v) The prominence is given to the capability of the candidates on the application of law rather than focusing on one’s ability to memorize provisions and case laws.
(vi) The result of the exam only dictates the candidate’s state whether he has passed the exam or not after obtaining the minimum marks. The result does not contain the candidate’s marks, percentage, rank or percentile.
Documents required during the registration
(i) An advocate ID Card issued by the State Bar Council after successful registering as an advocate under the provisions of the Indian Advocates Act, 1961.
(ii) An enrollment certificate that validates the status of the student at their respective University.
(iii) A scanned copy of photo and signature.
(iv) Scanned copy of the category certificate, if applicable.
(v) Scanned copy of the disability certificate, if applicable.
Procedure for filling application form
(i) Go to the official website of All India Bar Examination and click on the Register button available there.
(ii) Fill up the registration form by uploading the necessary documents and other relevant details about the candidate. After the process is complete, click on ‘Save’ button available at the bottom of the page.
(iii) The registration ID and password is generated by the system and is sent via message and e-mail to the phone number and e-mail address provided at the time of registration.
(iv) The enrollment number should contain the State Code as provided by the Enrollment Certificate.
(v) After completion of the submission check the mobile or email for Registration ID and Password.
(vi) Then go to the homepage of the website and click on the ‘Login’ button.
(vii) In the User Login, put the Registration ID and Password received through message or email and enter the ‘Login’ button.
(viii) A page will open with your registration details provided at the time of registration and click on the ‘Print Challan’ button.
(ix) After clicking on the button take a printout of the Challan provided.
(x) When 24 hours have elapsed since the time of the registration, go to any branch of the State Bank of India and make the payment with the printed copy of the Challan.mode of payment has only been restricted to Challan processed by the State Bank of India.
(xi) Make payment in the bank with the amount mentioned in the Challan and retain the sealed and signed applicant’s copy of the Challan.
(xii) Login again on the official website of the All India Bar Examination with the same Registration ID and Password after a minimum of 24 hours after making the payment at the Ban.
(xiii) A page with registration details will appear and there click on ‘Upload Challan and Details’ button.
(xiv) Upload the Challan and provide the Journal Number, SBI Branch Code and the date of Challan given in the Challan copy.
(xv) Go back and click on the ‘Application Form’ button and print the same for future reference.
(xvi) Check whether the details, photograph and signature provided are correct. If there is any error or the form is incomplete, contact the helpline numbers or sent the query via an email.
(xvii) No hard copy of the application forms or the documents are to be sent to the Bar Council of India.
Things to keep in mind while you register
(i) The required documents such as photograph, signature and the enrollment certificate should be self-attested. Any document uploaded without attestation will be rejected.
(ii) The candidate should make sure that all the documents, photograph and signature are correctly uploaded.
(iii) If in case the candidate has committed a mistake while filling the application form or has uploaded a wrong document, the same can be rectified by sending the registration ID along with the query to [email protected], before the admit card is released.
(iv) The correct mobile number and email address should be provided as those will be used for all communication by the Bar Council of India regarding the application process.
(v) Applicants availing reservation benefits belonging from SC/ST category are required to upload self-attested copy of their SC/ST certificate and other relating documents.
(vi) In case where the applicant has applied under the benefits of SC/ST category fails to furnish the relevant documents, his candidature is bound to be rejected and the amount so deposited will not be refunded.
How to prepare for the bar exams?
Decide on what materials you are going to carry into the exam hall. Be very familiar with these materials, so that you can find answers very quickly.
The All India Bar Examination is a recent development brought forth by the Bar Council of India with a view to allow only the deserving advocates who possess certain criteria of minimum competence to be able to get hold of the license to practice in a court of law.
There is a separate qualification examination for Indian nationals having foreign law degrees. After successfully passing the examination, the advocates are given a certificate of practice which entitles them to practice in courts.
Annexure 1 – Syllabus for AIBE
|S. No.||Subject/Topic||Number of Questions|
|2.||I.P.C. (Indian Penal Code)||8|
|3.||Cr.P.C. (Code of Criminal Procedure)||10|
|4.||C.P.C. (Code of Civil Procedure)||10|
|6.||Alternative Dispute Redressal and Arbitration Act||4|
|8.||Public Interest Litigation||4|
|10.||Professional Ethics & Cases of Professional Misconduct under BCI rules||4|
|14.||Labour & Industrial Laws||4|
|15.||Law of Tort, including Motor Vehicle Act and Consumer Protection Law||5|
|16.||Law related to Taxation||4|
|17.||Law of Contract, Specific Relief, Property Laws, Negotiable Instrument Act||8|
|18.||Land Acquisition Act||2|
|19.||Intellectual Property Laws||2|