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BCI elects Orissa’s Ashok Parija as chairman, to continue with bar exam

Subramanium out, Nariman & Orissa BC member Parija in
Subramanium out, Nariman & Orissa BC member Parija in

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has elected a new chairman and vice chairman after solicitor general Gopal Subramanium resigned as solicitor general, according to Law et al. News.

According to the website all 19 members yesterday (24 July) unanimously voted for Orissa BCI member Ashok Parija as chairman and Madhya Pradesh member Zafar Ahmed Khan as vice chairman.

According to Law et al. Parija said that the All India Bar Exam (AIBE) would continue in its present form. The second AIBE took place yesterday, with some protests reported to have taken place again in Chennai against the exam.

He also added that representing around 15 lakh advocates, the BCI would focus on improving welfare schemes for advocates, raise the standard of law colleges and examine the age limit for admissions in law colleges.

Former BCI chairman Gopal Subramanium, who was the driver behind introducing the AIBE and other ambitious regulatory reforms, resigned on Saturday 9 July as solicitor general, with senior counsel Rohinton Nariman having been appointed into the office effective today.

Subramanium’s resignation as solicitor general meant that his position as ex officio BCI member became unlikely under the Advocates Act 1961, as first reported by Legally India.

In December 2010 the Indian Express had reported a law ministry source who said that Subramanium should resign as BCI chairman because there was a conflict of interest between the law ministry’s plans to reform legal education and the profession and the role of the BCI.

This, feared the law ministry source, could put Subramanium into a conflict of interest after the draft Legal Practitioners (Regulations and Maintenance of Standards in Professions, Protecting the Interest of Clients and Promoting the Rule of Law) Bill 2010 that was proposed in November 2010, which would create a new regulator that overlapped with the BCI’s current role.

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