The Bar Council of India’s (BCI) website has officially confirmed that the bar exam has been postponed to 6 March 2011, although only shortly afterwards the website went offline after the domain name barcouncilofindia.org was not renewed.
A screenshot of the bar exam section on the BCI website last Friday (see left) does not explicitly mention any postponement but reads: “The first All India Bar Examination, to be conducted on March 6, 2011 is intended to test an advocate’s ability to practice the profession of law in India. As this is the first time that this examination will be conducted, it will assess capabilities at a basic level, and is intended to set a minimum standard for admission to the practice of law; it addresses a candidate’s analytical abilities and basic knowledge of law.”
However, the BCI website is currently offline after the domain name barcouncilofindia.org was apparently not re-registered in time with the domain name registrar.
Currently the website loads a holding page with advertisements automatically generated by domain parking service Sedo.com (see screenshot left).
Internet name registry records for the domain show that the domain registration was first made on November 2007 but lapsed on Friday (26 November 2010). It was re-registered yesterday (28 November 2010) but in the new registration all contact details are anonymised so Legally India could not confirm whether the renewal was legitimate or had been made by a cybersquatter or other third party.
While legal industry services provider Rainmaker has helped the BCI set up its website as part of the deal to run the bar exam, it is understood that the BCI itself is handling much of the day-to-day administration of the website assisted only occasionally by Rainmaker. Legally India has informed Rainmaker staff of the unavailability of the website.
BCI chairman Gopal Subramanium confirmed to PTI and other papers on Friday that the exam would be postponed. He also told the Indian Express that the exam would not be junked: “Nobody is opposed to the exam. There are only some outstanding issues, which we will resolve. Even the students want the exam.” However, an unnamed BCI functionary told the Express that holding the exam even in March 2011 “was subject to many ifs and buts” and that “there is no certainty”.
However, there is no official confirmation on how exactly the postponement would be implemented and whether and how exactly students could practice until then, although the Indian Express mentioned the possibility of giving an “undertaking to the BCI that when the AIBE is held, they will sit for the exam and clear it”, as first reported by Legally India.