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BCI sends Legally India 6-page defamation notice over bar exam RTI story (cc’s PM, all judges & journalists)

Kian's 'Real face', provided at BCI's request
Kian's 'Real face', provided at BCI's request

The Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman Manan Kumar Mishra has sent a letter to Legally India and 147 other recipients, including journalists, the President and Prime Minister of India, all Supreme Court judges and high court judges and others.

The letter alleges that Legally India was “being part of M/s Rainmakers you were deliberately doing the mischief and were trying to defame the Bar Council of India”.

The letter, which runs to six pages and is reproduced in full below, makes a series of allegations and notes:

The Bar Council of India has already provided you the minutes (as assured by me) and as per my apprehension (expressed during our conversation dated 15.12.2014), you have committed the mischief and you have not left any stone unturned in maligning the image of Bar Council of India. And you have published your story on 19.05.2015 with complete/oblique motive. By doing so, you have committed the offence of defamation for which you are liable to be prosecuted and punished by the appropriate forum. And your Registration/Licence to run any media is liable to be cancelled. You are misusing your Licence.

The letter signed by Mishra concludes with:

I hope and expect that very fairly you shall publish the full text of this letter of Bar Council of India on your website, so that your viewers could be made acquainted with your real face.

The notice relates to the minutes relating to the BCI’s tender of the All India Bar Exam (AIBE) contract in 2012 obtained by Legally India with more than 1,000 other pages of BCI meeting minutes under a long-winded Right to Information (RTI) request.

The AIBE contract was awarded in 2012 to NCR-based company ITES Horizon Pvt Ltd over four rival bidders: Rainmaker, which conducted the first three bar exams; Rs 55,000 crore global company Pearson Vue, which calls itself the “leading provider of global computer-based testing solutions” on its website; assessment and testing services company Aspiring Minds; and legal judgment database and publisher Manupatra with Universal Legal.

Read full story here: RTI’d minutes of BCI reveal how multi-crore bar exam contract was awarded to mystery 5th bidder ITeS Horizon #longread.

Full disclosure: Rainmaker and Pearson Vue are or have been regular advertisers on Legally India. For the avoidance of doubt, Legally India has no relationship with Rainmaker other than the arm’s length relationship it has with any other advertiser.

Full disclosure: Legally India has an interest in bar exam preparation service http://www.barhacker.in that was started in 2010 with Intelligent Legal Risk Management Solutions LLP (iPleaders), a company that was started by two NUJS Kolkata students and continues to be run by them since they graduated.

Full BCI letter reproduced below. We have forwarded the letter to Rainmaker CEO Antony Alex and founder chief strategist Nikhil Chandra requesting comment.

Legally India is currently seeking legal advice and will respond to the BCI’s notice in due course.

BCI Letter to Legally India

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