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Only 1 of 3 passes latest BCI qualifier exam for foreign LLB Indians

Exam: Only for PIOs, NR/OC-Indians
Exam: Only for PIOs, NR/OC-Indians
Three persons of Indian origin holding foreign undergraduate degrees in law registered for this year’s Bar Council of India (BCI) qualifying exam to practice in India, but only one – an LLB degree holder from Cambridge University - passed.

The fourth edition of the exam was held in August and the result was declared in October, days before the 25 October deadline to submit the 9 December bar exam application form. Candidates who are of Indian origin and graduate with an LLB from a foreign university that is recognised by the BCI, still need to pass the bar exam to earn their right to practice law in India.

According to the notification published by the BCI, only Swati Sood passed the exam this year. Another candidate failed to score likely pass marks in two papers and was absent for two others, while a third candidate did not turn up for any of the papers.

The BCI, since 2008, has been allowing law graduates from foreign universities that are recognised by the BCI to practice in India, subject to qualifying the exam that consists of six papers. Subjects include the Indian constitution, law of contract, company law, civil and criminal procedure codes and ethics and professional standards.

The registration fee for the exam is Rs 15,000 for the first attempt, regardless of how many of the six papers the candidate appears for. For subsequent attempts the fee is Rs 3,000 per paper, with no cap on the number of attempts a candidate can make.

A candidate should secure 430 marks out of a total of 600, and an average of 50 marks in every paper, to qualify.

Each year, the BCI holds a main exam and several supplementary exams in which candidates can attempt papers that they did not attempt or clear in the main exam. The main exam this year was held in January and the first supplementary exam for May was notified in April at the same time of the January results.

It is understood that due to the rarity of test takers as well as the fact that the exam was only recently developed, the BCI does not provide any model test papers, book recommendations, or scope and guidelines of the syllabus to be studied, requiring wide-ranging preparation.

Unlike the All India Bar Exam (AIBE), this exam does not allow test takers to take text books or materials into the exam room. Because the syllabus is so wide, many test-takers therefore break down the exam into fewer than six papers at a time.

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