Bar Council of india
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This article has been written by Oishika Banerji, an undergraduate student of Amity Law School, Amity University Kolkata. This article deals with the procedure to enrol into the Bar council. 

Introduction

The Bar Council of India is a well known established statutory body in India governing the legal domain of the nation. This body was formed under the statute of Advocates Act, 1961 with an objective to present standards of conduct to be carried out at a professional level along with the role of governing the functioning of all other State Bar Councils. The Bar Council of India is a corporate body by itself, coming under the purview of the Ministry of Law and Justice under the Government of India. Being a corporate body, it has a seal and a perpetual succession over movable as well as immovable property and therefore by its very name can sue anyone infringing the same or be sued for its own deeds.

The Bar Council of India consists of a total of 18 members which is inclusive of the Attorney General of India and the Solicitor General of India. The rest 16 members are the representatives of the State councils across the nation. A national-level examination that helps to determine advocates about to profess the legal profession is the All India Bar Council Examination that acts as a screening procedure to identify the potentials in an individual aspiring to be an advocate and contribute in the legal profession. Only after qualifying in the examination, the Bar Council of India issues a certificate certifying that the advocate can practice in the nation. Thus the examination is the entrance to the legal domain of practising for any aspiring advocate. An analytical and aptitude assessment, the All India Bar Council Examination is indeed an ingredient in the Indian legal system. 

Procedure to enrol into the Bar council 

The Advocates Act, 1961 provides authority to the State Bar Councils to promulgate their respective rules and regulations for enrolling advocates. The committee formed by the respective councils carried out the scrutinising procedure of the applications by the candidates aspired to practice as advocates. The admitted candidates of the State Bar Council are eligible to appear for the All India Bar Council Examination which is held by the Bar Council of India. Qualifying this examination will provide the advocate enrolled by the State with a certificate and thereby provide the opportunity to him or her to practice as an advocate in any lower court or High Court within Indian territorial jurisdiction. There are, at present, 20 State Bar Councils across India. Section 24 of the Advocates Act, 1961 lays down in specificity the parameters of qualification that needs to be met with in order to be enrolled in the Bar council. The conditions that are laid down by the concerned provision are:

1) The person must be a citizen of India. Any other nationals can be appointed as an advocate on a State basis if the following grounds are fulfilled:

a) Has to be an Indian citizen.

b) Should be qualified as per requirement.

c) Has been granted permission to carry on legal practice in any other country.

d) Should be subjected to necessary restrictions that are required and as provided.

2) The person should be more or equal to the age of twenty-one years but should not be less than that.

3) A degree in law has been obtained from any university recognised under the Bar Council of India. If the national hails from some other country then a degree in law in the foreign university will suffice provided the degree is recognised in India under the Act by the Bar Council of India.

4) Any other conditions or parameters laid down by the State councils should be carried out by the person.

Advocates Enrolment 

Currently, any individual can be enrolled as an advocate under the State Bar Council if he or she has necessarily appeared in the examination held by the Bar Council of India and have thereby cleared the same. As the Advocates Act, 1961 have mentioned, the States are provided with the flexibility to frame their own regulations for the enrolment of an advocate in the council. The committee that is formed to look after the procedure of enrolment is provided with the authority to carry out scrutiny of the applications submitted by the candidates those have applied for the examination. An enrolment fee needs to be paid according to the provision of Section 24(1)(f) of the Advocates Act, 1961 of an amount of Rs.600 to the respective State Bar Council and an amount of Rs 150 is to be deposited to the Bar Council of India. Separate demand drafts are to be used for the mode of payment of these amounts to the different councils. Although different states have been provided with the freedom to set their own rules, the majority of the States ask the candidate to provide with certain requirements which are:

1) Application along with the showcasing of the law degree obtained from a university which follows the parameters laid down by the council.

2) Marksheets of the degree need to be provided as well.

3) Judicial Stamp papers.

4) Fees as having been mentioned to be provided with.

The candidates who are eligible are appointed as advocates of State Bar Councils on its role. It is through the State Bar Council that the contact details and other information of relevance can be found when it comes to the appointment of the advocates. Scrutiny of the application of the candidate is to be carried out by the Council’s Enrolment Committee. The eligible candidates who are to be appointed as an advocate are issued a Certificate of Enrolment by the State’s Bar Council. 

State Bar Council of India 

As different State Council provides with different regulations in conducting the procedure of enrolment, an example of the West Bengal State Bar Council has been provided below in order to create an idea as to how State Bar Council regulates the procedure of enrolment. In the case of West Bengal State Bar Council, the enrolment procedure takes place by means of submitting the enrolment form according to the regulations laid out by the Council. Like all other States as well as the centre, the West Bengal State Bar Council also lays down certain criteria and requirements to be fulfilled in order to be eligible for the enrolment procedure. They are provided below:

1) 1 piece of passport size photograph of the candidate.

2) Admit card of the examination or any other documents that have an equivalent value with the same.

3) Marksheet of either the three year LLB course or the five year LLB course.

4) The mark sheet of the final year of the three or five years of LLB degree.

5) Original certificate of LLB examination.

These requirements are essential to be provided for the candidates belonging to the university located in the State of West Bengal. For the candidates who hail from any university that is located in any other States across the nation, the documents that need to be provided by them are as hereunder:

1) Passport size photograph.

2) Admit card of the examination or any other documents that have an equivalent value with the same.

3) Marksheet of either the three year LLB course or the five year LLB course.

4) The mark sheet of the final year of the three or five years of LLB degree.

5) College leaving certificate along with character certificate of the candidate.

It is to be noticed that all these above documents should be original and should be enclosed with the photocopies of the same which is to be having the initials of the advocate who provided the candidate with the certificate of good character along with the concerned enrolment number. The cost of the enrolment form issued by the West Bengal State Bar Council worth Rs.700 with a separate enrolment fee of Rs 3000 for the general category candidates and Rs.1500 for the candidates with the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe certificate. Along with these several other fees focusing on other spheres needs to be provided with by the candidate. 

All India Bar Council Examination 

One of the essentials in the procedure for enrolment in the Bar includes the All India Bar Council Examination. It is a step for upliftment in the post of an advocate who has been enrolled with any State Bar Council. The national level standardised form of Examination is conducted across 40 cities of India in 11 languages. This examination acts as a determination for an individual to practice as an advocate in any lower court or high courts in the country.

Eligibility for the examination

In order to be eligible for the examination, the following grounds need to be abided by:

1) The examination applicant has to be a citizen of India.

2) A degree of LLB of either 3 years or 5 years is required to be eligible for appearing in the examination.

3) The applicant should be a registered advocate under any State Bar Councils.

4) A valid advocate identification should be present with the applicant.

5) The applicant cannot apply for the examination in the same year he or she is qualifying with an LLB degree.

Application for the examination

As everything has been digitised in today’s world, the information and application procedure for the examination can be viewed on the official website of the examination. The steps are provided below:

1) The official link of the All India Bar Council examination needs to be visited.

2) Registration providing basic details of the candidates need to be carried out.

3) Registration confirmation to be sent by the medium of email in the registered mail id.

4) The application form needs to be filled up by logging in with approved credentials.

5) E-challan needs to be generated before proceeding with the application form.

6) Application fee needs to be paid. 

7) Print out of the form and the receipt is required for future references. 

Therefore the steps towards the way of reaching out and giving the examination which has been provided above are one of the ingredients in the procedure of enrollment in the Bar.

Conclusion 

The profession of lawyers is a holy profession for they are burdened with the most important responsibility on their shoulder, the responsibility of remedying injustice. The Bar Council of India along with the State Bar Council provides a platform for these lawyers to enrol as an advocate in order to keep a record as in how many practising advocates on the record are there in the country. This ensures stability in the functioning of the bar in India. Along with the function of governance, the Bar Council of India executes representative roles by means of safeguarding the rights and privileges and interests associated with an advocate. This is carried out through fund creation by means of providing financial assistance in order to layout welfare mechanisms for the advocates. 

Therefore these things make it clear as to why arises the necessity of enrolling in the Bar Councils. The State Bar Councils and the Central Bar Council work in coexistence with each other to carry out the functions and roles efficiently as has been laid down previously. As the legal profession is gaining importance with the evolution of the world, the Bar Council of India which was established under the Advocates Act, 1961 is also gaining recognition more than ever. Every direction, idea, development has been made and is being made for the welfare of the advocates in India. This regulating statutory body has come up with a very organised and well-structured procedure for the enrolment of the advocates. Stages have been divided in order to avoid any kind of causality in the procedure. With advocates being enrolled in the Bar by means of the procedure, the domain of legal aid regulation is also being carried out swiftly. Legal aid is reaching out to the poor and the needy ones. The Bar Council lays down etiquettes for advocates to abide by. Thus in this way it is promoting the legal education and profession across the nation. 

References 


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