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P&H High Court gives bar exam hearing but cedes jurisdiction to SC

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has reaffirmed and upheld the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction in the adjudication of the impending writ petitions against the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) citing the apex court’s earlier decision to combine and hear the matter as transfer petition titled Bar Council of India vs Babubhai Vaghela & Ors.

The High Court’s decision to abdicate jurisdiction came up during today’s hearing of the petition challenging the bar exam filed by Nalsar graduate Fatehpal Singh in June this year. His was amongst the first few petitions that sought to challenge the BCI’s bar entry test.

On 2 August the Supreme Court had admitted the matter while dismissing sole PIL of a DU law student and on the same day the court had ordered to issue notices to concerned parties. The process of summoning and resulting delays further adjourned it to 20 October. The exam is due to take place on 5 December.

Singh told Legally India that the division bench heard his pleas with a lot of patience and the judges were very supportive but they declined to pass any orders as the matter was before the highest court.

He said: “I explained in details the finds of the Supreme Court in the three member committee, told the court that Bonnie FOI case was being misread and brought to the [P&H High Court’s] notice the [Supreme Court’s] carelessness in issuing notices.”

The judges presiding over the division bench were justices MM Kumar and Ritu Bahri.

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