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Next bar exam ‘tentatively’ in February (11 months after previous one) • History suggests more delays

The track record of BCI holding AIBEs on time is dismal...

BCI says next AIBE on 26 February 2017, but don't make any bookings just yet
BCI says next AIBE on 26 February 2017, but don't make any bookings just yet

According to the Bar Council of India (BCI) official All India Bar Exam (AIBE) website, the “tentative” date for the next bar exam, which is compulsory for law graduates to pass before entering practice, has been set for 26 February 2017, with registration “likely to start” on 6 January 2017:

The tentative Examination Date for AIBE-X is 26 Feb,2017.Online Registration is likely to start on 6th Jan 2017. Kindly visit our website for further updates.

In November 2016, the BCI announced that it had postponed the upcoming AIBE until further notice, with the council having “not yet decided” on a new date.

But for those wanting to begin booking travel arrangements or accommodation, there is little guarantee that 26 February 2017 will be the actual date of the next AIBE going by the BCI’s track record on that front.

The BCI had committed to two to three AIBEs per year, but it has not managed that a single time (read more here).

The previous, ninth AIBE, had been delayed by nearly three months from December 2016 to March 2016 due to apparent issues with the AIBE website. And pretty much every other AIBE has faced delays.

The previous AIBE was held on 6 March 2016, with results having been delayed by five weeks until 20 May 2016.

As we reported earlier this week, it also took the BCI seven months since the last AIBE to begin issuing practising certificates for some states (but excluding Delhi, for instance), with another 3,500 practising certificates still remaining withheld for rather obscure reasons.

The BCI’s lacklustre conduct of the exam had been raised in the Supreme Court in the clubbed petition challenging the legality of the AIBE.

As we have also reported last year, huge question marks remain over whether the multi-crore contract to conduct the exam was awarded honestly to unqualified contractor ITES Horizon Private Limited by BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra.

The contract with ITES Horizon had expired last year, according to an email from Mishra in June 2016, in which he suggested that a new tender would be held to find a new agency to conduct the exam.

We have no information on whether the BCI has taken the help of a third party to conduct the exam.

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