This article has been written by Sakshi Jaiswal, Project Associate and Course Anchor for BarHacker at the Test Prep Team, Lawsikho.


The Bar Council of India recognises various law degrees from universities outside India. Therefore, for Indian nationals holding foreign law degrees, two different methods are devised by the BCI for gaining eligibility to practice in India:

  1. For students who complete their LLB degrees from recognised universities: These students are required to apply for registration to their respective State Bar Councils upon their return to India. The State Bar Councils then forward their applications to the Bar Council of India, which conducts an exam twice a year, on six subjects. Successful candidates are permitted to practice in India.
  2. For students who complete their LLB degrees from non-recognised universities: These students are required to apply directly to the Bar Council of India for registration. These applications are considered on a case-to case basis, and, upon approval, these students may be allowed to practice in India.

The 16th Qualifying Examination for the Indian Nationals holding Foreign Law Degrees was held from 25th May, 2020 to 30th May, 2020 in the premises of the Bar Council of India i.e.  21, Rouse Avenue, Institutional Area, New Delhi – 110002 as per the schedule given below:

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Date /Time of Examination




25th May, 2020(Monday)

Timing 11:00 A.M. to 14.00 P.M.

Constitution of India


No Book/Bare Act/s shall be allowed during the examination.)


26th May, 2020 (Tuesday)

Timing 11:00 A.M. to 14.00 P.M.

Contract Law & Negotiable Instruments Act

No Book/Bare Act/s shall be allowed during the examination.)


27th May, 2020 (Wednesday)

Timing 11:00 A.M. to 14.00 P.M.

Company Law

No Book/Bare Act/s shall be allowed during the examination.)


28th May, 2020 (Thursday)

Timing 11:00 A.M. to 14.00 P.M.

Civil Procedure Code and Limitation Act.

(Only Bare Act without notes will be allowed during the examination. No books are allowed.)


29th May, 2020 (Friday)

Timing 11:00 A.M. to 14.00 P.M.

Criminal Procedure Code

(Only Bare Act without notes will be allowed during the examination. No books are allowed.)


30th May, 2020 (Saturday)

Timing 11:00 A.M. to 14.00 P.M.

The Indian Legal Profession and Code of Ethics.

(Only Bare Act without notes will be allowed during the examination. No books are allowed.)

Last exam was to be held in the first week of October, 2020.

Present Pattern

Due to COVID-19 some changes have been made in the pattern of the exam. Instead of  6 exams of 3 hours each, on 6 separate days,  there shall be  2 exams of 3 hours each in two different sessions in one day, whereby each of the 6 subjects papers in which exams are usually held,  would be given equal hours and approximately equal marks. In times of Pandemic, it was felt that this would also safeguard the candidates from having to travel daily for 6 exams and/or to even stay back in a hotel or guest house for the 6 exams.

In the  first session between  10.00 AM to 01.00 PM, (time is subject to change) one paper of three hours covering 3 of  the present subject papers:

Paper-1– Constitution of India; 

Paper-2– Contract Law & Negotiable Instruments Act; and

Paper-3– Company Law. 

In the next session of 3 hours, the next 3 remaining subject papers:

Paper-4– Civil Procedure Code and Limitation Act; 

Paper-5– Criminal Procedure Code; and 

Paper-6– The Indian Legal Profession and Code of Ethics.

Candidates shall be attempted to be given the option of either giving the papers in the Bar Council of India office/auditorium or in respective State National Law Universities, subject to feasibility of National Law Universities. If, by some reason or the other it is not possible to have the exam in any National Law University, then the respective State Bar Council/s  shall be requested to allow the candidate to give the exam, subject to their feasibility.

Once the choices and options and the number of candidates and where they have opted to give the exam are/is confirmed, the exact date in October first week shall be fixed week in consultation with the places/centers, which has been opted for.


  1. Bar Council of India, New Delhi.
  2. NLU of State where Candidate is residing, subject to feasibility of the University.
  3. if the NLU is unable to conduct the same due to some reason, then in the State Bar Council (STBC) of the State where the candidate resides, subject to feasibility of STBC.

Candidates may send in their options, at [email protected].

Candidates would be allowed to carry bare acts and even books, (not guides/questions answers guide) for both the exams.

Candidates who had been unable to clear any paper/s during the last exam, what would be the option given to them?  

  • Under the present circumstances, since 3 papers are being condensed into one paper, the said candidate/s will have to appear in the complete paper which would include the paper, which he/she had been unable to clear on the last occasion. 
  • If the candidate’s position is such that he/she has been unable to clear 2 papers or more and they are covered separately in both the papers being held this time, then the candidate will have to appear and sit for both the papers of this next exam, and the candidates shall not be entitled to claim that they would attempt only a certain part of this years paper which relates to the specific paper which they had been unable to give. 
  • It is not deemed fit that a candidate be allowed to leave after attempting one part of a paper.
  • The candidate also has the option of waiting till the time normalcy returns, and the old pattern is adopted. However under the present circumstances, similarly placed  candidates, who have not been debarred from taking such an exam, will have to sit and complete the entire paper/s which he/she chooses to appear in.


Paper – I  Constitution

  • Preamble – significance, importance, relations with DPSP, declaration and objectives of state, place in the interpretation of the Constitution
  • Citizenship 
  • Fundamental Rights 
  • Directive Principles of State Policy 
  • The Union, Executive, President – Legislative powers of the President – The State, Executive, Governor – Parliament – Legislative powers of the Governor –  The Union 
  • Judiciary – High Courts and Subordinate Courts 
  • Tax – Services under Union and States 
  • Languages 
  • Emergency provisions 
  • Legislative Relations – Centre-State Relations 
  • Administrative Relations 
  • Trade and Commerce

Paper – II Contract Law & Negotiable Instruments Act 

Contract Law 

  1. General features of contract – classification – historical development of law of contracts – freedom of contract.
  2. Formation of contract – offer and acceptance – consideration – necessity – classification – privity of contract – charitable subscription – consideration – discharge of contract – doctrine of accord and satisfaction.
  3. Capacity of parties – minority – Indian and English law – mental capacity – drunkenness – other incapacities. Factors invalidating contracts – coercion – mistake – undue influence – fraud – misrepresentation – unlawful objects – immoral agreements – consequences of illegality. 
  4. Void, voidable and contingent nature of contract of agreement – in restraint of marriage and its limitation – assignment of liability and benefits – offer of performance – joint promises – time and place of performance – reciprocal promises – appropriation of payments – contracts which need not be performed – breach and impossibility – meaning of breach – anticipatory breach – strict performance – impossibility of performance and doctrine of frustration – its effect – discharge of contract by operation of law.
  5. Damages – nature and meaning of – penalty and liquidated damages. Quasi contracts nature and basis – instances of quasi contracts – quantum meruit. 
  6. Specific relief – general principles – contracts specifically enforceable – not specifically enforceable – parties in relation to specific performance – rescission – rectification – and cancellation – preventive relief by injunction. Contracts of indemnity and guarantee – different aspects of surety’s liability – comparison of guarantee with indemnity – discharge of surety – rights of surety against creditor, principal debtor, and co-sureties. 
  7. Bailment – general features – agency – different methods for such creation – different kinds – delegation of authority – sub agents and substituted agents – rights and duties of agents and principles – fraud agents – agents liability to 3rd person’s – rights against agent personally liable – breach of warranty of authority – undisclosed principal – termination of agency – revocation and renunciation – by operation of law. 
  8. Sale of Goods  – sale and agreement to sell quasi contract of sale – formalities of sale – the price – conditions and warranties – fundamental breach – transfer of property – transfer of title – passing of rich – performance of sale of goods – C.I.F contracts – F.O.B contract – rights of buyer – suits for breach of contract – rights of unpaid seller – auction sale and hire purchase.
  9. Partnerships – essentials – compared with co-ownership – company – Joint Hindu family business – partnership of creation of status – mode of determining partnership firm and firm name – different types of partnership – formation – partnership – property – partnership by holding out – illegal partnership – relation b/w partners and 3rd parties – incoming and outgoing partners – retirement – dissolution – settlement of accounts – sale of goodwill – registration of firms. 

Negotiable Instrument Act 

  1. Negotiable instrument – negotiability and assignability – effect of endorsement – Conversion of blank endorsement into full endorsement.
  2. Negotiation of dishonoured and overdue instrument – presentment for acceptance – presentment for payment – when presentment for payment unnecessary – parties to bill of exchange – holder and holder in due course – classification – negotiable instruments liabilities of parties – discharge from liability material alteration – protection of bankers – paying bank and collecting bank. 
  3. Dishonour, noting, and protest – cheques –  special features – distinction with bill of exchange and promissory note – crossing of cheques – kinds of crossing – legal effect of crossing – special rules of evidence – presumptions – promissory notes – rights and liabilities of parties – comparison with bill of exchange and cheque. 

 Paper – III  Company Law 

  1. Company –  Nature, definition, – corporate personality – theories of corporate personality – the doctrine of lifting the corporate veil, the criminal liability of company – company distinguished from other association – different kinds of companies – registration and incorporation of company – memorandum of association – articles of association – alteration – doctrine of constructive notice and indoor management.
  2. Promoters – duties and liabilities – prospectus – definition and contents – statement in lieu of prospectus – misrepresentation – remedies of misrepresentation – membership – definition and mode of acquiring membership. 
  3. Shares – meaning and definition – kinds of shares – allotment of shares – register.
  4. Share capital – preference share capital – equity share capital control over issue of capital – stock – share warrant – share premium account and capital redemption – debentures – dividends – audit – auditors – appointment, powers and duties. 
  5. Borrowing – consequences of unauthorised borrowing registration of charges. 
  6. The board of directors – directors – appointment and removal, powers, duties and liabilities – powers and duties of managing director – secretaries meetings – different kinds of meetings – procedures and requirement of valid meetings – voting – resolution – minutes – protection of minorities – mismanagement – powers of company law board and central govt – investigation.
  7. Winding up – different kinds of winding up – grounds – procedure – commencement and consequences of winding up – powers of court – liquidators – position – powers, duties, and liabilities – liability of members – payment of liabilities and preferential payment.
  8. Social Responsibility of Companies – Protection of Consumers.


 Paper – IV Civil Procedure Code and Limitation Act 

  1. Main features – concept of law – suit – definitions – decree – order – legal representative – mesne profit – parties to suit – non joinder – misjoinder – representative suit. 
  2. Jurisdiction – bars and suits – res sub judice – res judicata – bar to further suit – foreign judgement conclusive of. 
  3. Place of suing – objection – transfer and withdrawal – institution of suits – summons – pleadings – plaint and written statement – amendment of – counter claim – set off – framing of issues. 
  4. Procedure during hearing – appearance and consequence of non appearance – ex parte procedure – discovery and inspection – interrogatories -admission – production – impounding of documents. 
  5. Affidavit – judgement – decree – cost – compensatory cost – interest – commissions – appointment of receiver – power – duty – removal – restitution – caveat – inherent powers – abatement and withdrawal of suits. 
  6. Suits in particular cases – suit by/against government – suit by or against minor – suit by indigent persons – appeal – interpleader suit – arrest and attachment before judgement – temporary injunction.
  7. General principles of execution – executing court – powers of – modes of – precepts, rateable distribution – garnishee order – arrest – detention – release – exemption – attachment – exemptions – sale – setting aside – proclamation.
  8. Appeals from original decrees – preliminary decree – second appeal – appeals to SC – stay proceedings – form of appeals – powers of the appellate court  – reference – review – revision. 
  9. Limitation – nature – object – limitation of suits – appeals – applications computation – exclusion – extension – acknowledgement – effect. 

Paper – V  Criminal Procedure Code 

  1. Constitution and hierarchy of criminal courts – jurisdiction and powers of criminal courts – executive magistrates and their powers – juvenile courts, powers and functions – juvenile welfare board – powers and functions of probationary officers. 
  2. Functionaries under the code – police – prosecutor – defence counsel – prison authorities and their role.
  3. Classification of offence – cognizable, non – cognizable, bailable, non – bailable, summons and warrants case –  pre-trial procedure – initiation of criminal proceedings – duty of the public to give information and to assist the magistrate and police –  steps to ensure accused presence at the trial – search and seizure – production of documents – impounding of documents – rights of the arrested persons. 
  4. Investigation – information in cognizable cases – information in non bailable cases – police officers powers to investigate cognizable cases – rule of police as to non cognizable cases – report to magistrate – examination of witnesses by police – recording of statements and its evidentiary value – police diary – report of police officer on completion of investigation – investigation in unnatural and suspicious deaths and death in police custody. 
  5. Security for keeping peace – maintenance of public order and tranquillity – dispersal of unlawful assembly – public nuisance – order of removal – disputes as to immovable property.
  6. Maintenance of wife, children and parents – procedure – jurisdiction of magistrates – enforcement – alteration of allowance.
  7. Ordinary places of inquiry and trial – cognizance of offences – limitation for taking cognizance.
  8. Process to compel appearance – summons – proclamation and attachment – warrant – special summons in case of petty offence – commitment of case to court of session – consolidation of cases.
  9. Elements of fair trial – rights of the accused person at the trial – treatment as to persons of unsound mind and mentally disabled – charge – basic rules – alteration of charge – conviction of an offence not charged with  – joinder of charges – effect of omission to frame or absence of or error in charge – double jeopardy – protection against self incrimination – accused as witness.
  10. Bail – anticipatory bail – powers of magistrate, appellate court and courts of revision.
  11. Trial – preliminary pleas to bar trial of summons cases by magistrates – summary trial – trial before court of session – special rules of evidence – disposal of criminal cases without full trial – statements under section 313 Cr.P.C and its use.
  12. Judgment – compensation – admonition – probation – non custodial treatment under juvenile justice act – custodial treatment of juveniles – machinery under juvenile justice act – sentencing – execution – remission and commutation of sentence – compounding of offences – disposal of property by the court.
  13. Appeals – powers of the appellate court – revision and reference transfer of cases.

Paper – VI  Indian Legal Profession and Code of Ethics

  1. Role and functions of a lawyer – enrolment and qualifications – disqualification – bar council of india – functions and powers – committees – right to practice – professional ethics – standards of conduct laid down by the bar council – duties of a lawyer – seven lamps of Advocacy
  2. Professional misconduct – power and jurisdiction of Bar Council of India – disciplinary proceedings – judicial decisions. 
  3. Art of advocacy – role and function of a lawyer – qualities of a lawyer – art of presenting and winning a case – examination of witness – manner and skill of cross examination. 
  4. Contempt of court – meaning and purpose – criminal contempt – civil contempt – mens rea principle in contempt cases – innocent publication – fair criticism – power of the High Court – punishment – procedure in contempt by judges – appeal – limitations.
  5. Legal Education Rules and Bar Council of India Rules.

Pattern of the paper

  • The minimum percentage of marks required to pass in each of the 6 subjects shall be 40%. 
  • The medium of examination shall be English. 
  • Each question paper shall be divided into 3 parts. Part A, Part B and Part C:
    • Part A would consist of 6 short note questions out of which candidate would need to attempt 5 questions. Each question shall carry 5 marks.
    • Part B shall consist of 4 problem/analytical questions out of which candidates would need to attempt 3 questions. Each question would carry 15 marks. 
    • Part C shall consist of 2 easy questions out of which the candidate shall attempt one. The question would consist of two parts, one theoretical and other application based.

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