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Indians with foreign law degrees might have to pay US$2,000 to BCI to qualify here

BCI: Dollars preferred?
BCI: Dollars preferred?

The Bar Council of India (BCI) is considering a proposal to charge $2,000 each to Indian nationals with foreign law degrees who are looking to qualify in India.

The proposal was made in a meeting on 21 and 22 January by the BCI’s “equivalence committee”, which is responsible for administering the “Qualifying Examination for the Indian Nationals holding Foreign Law Degrees recognised by the Bar Council of India”.

The six-day, six-subject exam is scheduled to take place from 24 March, as reported by Legally India on Wednesday. In 2012, only three candidates took the exam, of whom only one passed.

Candidates looking to take the annual exam will have to pay the standard Rs 25,000 as an examination fee, but if the proposal is approved, they would have to deposit the US dollar amount, which is equivalent to Rs 1.2 lakh, into the BCI’s account before getting the result of the exam.

BCI chairman Manan Kumar Misra said that he would not be able to confirm the rationale behind the proposal without reading the resolution in detail. “It is only a recommendation,” he said. “The BCI is yet to decide.”

Mishra explained that the proposal had been made independently by the equivalence committee, which is headed by former Supreme Court Justice AP Misra with several other BCI members.

The notification of the exam on the BCI website stated:

The Equivalence Committee at its meeting held on 21st & 22nd January 2014 has proposed that foreign degree holders who wants to be enrolled in India has to pay USD 2000 to the Bar Council of India. The said amount to be deposited as Dollars. This decision will be placed before the council for its approval. After the Exam the decision of the Council will be communicated to you. At present the Rs 25,000/- (Rupees Twenty Five Thousand only) is payable to the Bar Council of India. the proposed fee of USD 2000 may be deposited by the candidate when Council approves. The results of the candidate will be declared after decision of the Council in regard to fee of USD 2000.

Photo by 401(K) 2012

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