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Bar exam PIL succeeds, BCI to allow 6 mths provisional practice (again)

Pre-AIBE: Provisional lawyers
Pre-AIBE: Provisional lawyers
The Bar Council of India (BCI) today agreed before the Gujarat high court (HC) to pass a resolution - for the third time - allowing law graduates awaiting the All India Bar Exam (AIBE) to practice provisionally in courts for six months.

A 2012 Gujarat University law graduate, Harsh K Thakar, requested the BCI in a 16 March 2013 email to pass a new resolution allowing provisional practice, since the 28 July resolution allowing provisional practice had lapsed and the date for the fifth AIBE had not yet been declared.

After his email elicited no response, Thakar filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Gujarat HC on 19 March.

Thakar’s PIL against the BCI was admitted by a division bench of chief justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and justice JB Pardiwala on 21 March. Senior advocate Mihir Thakore and advocate Jigna Suchak acted for Thakar.

Suchak told Legally India that the BCI, through its advocate Manan Shah, today submitted to the bench that it will file an affidavit in court on Wednesday, undertaking to pass the resolution within a stated time period.

A similar resolution was first passed in 2010 after a delay in holding the first AIBE, and then on 28 July 2012, six months after the third AIBE was held.

Under the resolutions the BCI allowed graduates to practise for six months provisionally until they passed the AIBE, on the basis of a graduates’ written undertaking to the respective state bar councils (SBC) that they will qualify under the exam within the period fixed by the regulator.

According to the AIBE Rules framed in 2010, a graduate can obtain a license to practice only after qualifying the AIBE which will be conducted twice a year. However, in the three years since the exam’s inception it has been held only four times – the latest after a gap of 11 months, leaving 35,000-odd law graduates registered for the exam with only temporary permission to practice.

The BCI has also been running behind schedule in releasing the full results break-down of the December AIBE.

 

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