ITES Noida office (2012)ITES Noida office (2012)

The Bar Council of India (BCI) renewed its dubiously-awarded bar exam contract to underperforming exam agency ITES Horizon Pvt Ltd, without a public tender of the contract and without holding a council meeting for members’ consensus on the renewal.

The BCI first entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ITES Horizon, to conduct the All India Bar Examination (AIBE), on 30 August 2012. The term of this MoU, which Legally India published in May, came to an end on 30 November 2014.

The BCI neither published tender inviting applications from contractors interested in conducting the AIBE, nor did it issue a public notification announcing the renewal of ITES’ contract. The last public tender for the bar exam contract, issued by the BCI, took was in 2012 before the contract was awarded to ITES.

Sources with knowledge of the development confirmed to Legally India that ITES Horizon was continuing to conduct the AIBE to date. They also confirmed that BCI members were not aware of the terms of the BCI’s renewed contract with ITES and that these terms were not documented in minutes of any BCI meeting.

BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra did not respond to Legally India’s email seeking comment since 16 November.

At least one high court judgment, citing the Supreme Court, stated that it is a fundamental right in India to have public bodies award any third party contracts only through public tender, “to ensure transparency […] maximise economy and efficiency […] promote health competition among the tenderers, to provide for fair and equitable treatment of all tenderers, and to eliminate irregularities interference and corrupt practices by the authorities concerned”.

ITES has conducted five bar exams since AIBE-IV, and is now in the process of registering candidates for the AIBE-IX, which was postponed by nearly three months on 16 November to 6 March 2016 after the ITES-operated official AIBE website failed.

In every single AIBE conducted by this contractor, the date of the exam was postponed or experienced a variety of problems. The registration costs for the exam have risen by nearly 100 per cent from Rs 1,300 to now Rs 2,560 despite ITES not delivering on its contractual obligations to provide study materials and create model test papers for candidates.

ITES won the 2012-2014 bar exam contract under suspicious circumstances: It was the least experienced of five bidders for the contract, with none of the technical expertise and history which it claimed to have and on which the award was allegedly based; It missed the application deadline published in the BCI’s tender and filed an incomplete application; It did not even tender the lowest bid for the bar exam contract.

Full Disclosure: BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra has sent a legal notice to Legally India for its story about the BCI’s tender for the contract to run AIBE V. Legally India has responded to Mishra’s notice but has received no further response from Mishra.

Also read: Legally India’s full report on the ITES tender process and history of the AIBE.

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Like +2 Object -0 nautanki 29 Nov 15, 05:00
maaro s***** ko!
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Like +1 Object -1 Guest 29 Nov 15, 14:31
There is the ridiculously drafted certificate of practice rules. Like I can't even use it as toilet paper. Any idea if that will be put on hold?
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Like +5 Object -1 Mishraji 29 Nov 15, 18:40
What is this Kian.......You are upto mischief again???
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Like +1 Object -0 State Hood 29 Nov 15, 19:15
For your information..several complaints have been made with C.B.I. This matter is already being investigated by C.B.I. But C.B.I have no courage to take any strong action against this Mishra. C.B.I is completely mute in this matter. CBI is just looking blindly ignoring all the facts. The role of C.B.I is doubtful in this matter. Why C.B.I is not taking action against Mishra? Here I want to confirm that C.B.I has all information in this matter. Several people have already made complaint to the CBI and C.B.I is not paying any heed to them.

Mishra has close connection with some CBI officials as well as approach to the different ministries. Event he is planning to become next Attorney Solicitor General of India. If he becomes ASG, this would be a black spot on the image of legal fraternity.

I request all people to come and join hands together to remove this nuisance from the society.
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Like +1 Object -2 Vakil 01 Dec 15, 15:18
"BCI quietly extends dodgy bar exam......" What do you mean by 'quietly'. How can you so convincingly know and state beyond any reasonable doubt that they did not have any internal discussion or conversation regarding this issue at some stage. And how can you use the word 'dodgy' for the bar exams. Please refrain from using such terminologies as we feel a bit ashamed and insulted of ourselves for having to sit for this exam in the past and clearing it to secure our right to practice law.
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Like +1 Object -1 SP1011 01 Dec 15, 22:01
I think even corporates function in a better manner as compared to public bodies as they seek quatations from atleast three vendors but AIBE didnt find it imp atleast to evaluate different service providers on technical grounds.
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Like +0 Object -0 Studentt 04 Dec 15, 15:53
Kian and Prachi please investigate this.

Will NLUs be covered under this directive? If yes, it will be a huge development as the government will officially be saying which NLU is the best. Please try and find out more by interviewing VCs.

Here is the offical website:
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Like +1 Object -0 Legalwin 08 Dec 15, 11:53
AIBE - VIII exam was held on May 24, 2015. It is more than 6 months since the exams conducted and results published. There is no sight of COP being released to AIBE pass candidates.

It is strange that Bar council of India, treats the All India Bar Exam shabbily. It is evident from the fact that
a) All india bar exams gets postponed regularly
b) No prescribed syllabus or study material
c)Certificate of Practice gets delayed invariably.

Either BCI should do away with conducting All India Bar exam or conduct AIBE in a planned and proper manner by taking professionals on Board.
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