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80,000 MP advocates strike today against Bar Exam

A day before the Supreme Court hearing in the All India Bar Exam (AIBE), over 80,000 lawyers from 240 bar associations of the Madhya Pradesh State Bar Council have gone on a one-day token strike today to protest the exam, which they say is “unconstitutional” and causes unnecessary hardship on students.

All 25 members of the state bar council unanimously resolved and announced their decision to abstain from work in the courts during a meeting on 9 October. The members passed a resolution that was accepted and resulted in today’s strike that is going to affect legal proceedings in all courts in the state including the High Court and the lower courts.

The Madhya Pradesh State Bar Council Chairman Rameshwar Neekhra told Legally India: “We have organised a token strike today because we want to make the BCI realise the difficulties we are facing.”

He said: “We oppose the whole process wherein the state bar councils first grants the enrolment and after that the BCI holds the examination and grants the certificate without first amending the prescribed rules given under the governing Advocates Act.”

“Secondly, the private institution entrusted with this work has been aloof from us.”

“Law students come to us because they don’t receive proper information from the BCI, they get no response on the phone. What information can we disseminate to them if we ourselves are so confused?,” he added. “240 bar association, 85, 000 lawyers will be on strike today in the whole of MP. This is our way to show our resentment to the way the BCI has decided to conduct the examination.”

Law graduate Siddharth Seth who led the bar exam protest before the law minister in June and is based in Madhya Pradesh said: “We are very happy to receive support from the state bar councils. There is so much uncertainty and lack of clarity. I am yet to receive even an acknowledgment to the form I filled last month, leave aside getting the study material to prepare for the exam.”

Earlier in August, members from 11 state bar councils had in their meeting in Hyderabad decided to oppose the proposed AIBE and subsequently the Delhi Bar Council through its three-member committee submitted a white paper to BCI against the exam.

According to several sources the bar council of Maharashtra and Goa has made itself party to the impending writ petitions which have been clubbed together and transferred to the SC for hearing the bar exam matter.

The Supreme Court will hear the clubbed writ petitions challenging the bar exam tomorrow.

Photo by comedynose

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