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Bar Council of India (BCI)

25 June 2010
Four further law students from Panjab University's law department have challenged the Bar Council of India's (BCI) proposed bar exam, following four cases in the past two weeks challenging various aspects of the exam.
23 June 2010

bar-exam-delegation-to-moilyThe bar examination has faced further hurdles in a fourth court case by a Karnataka student, while a group of protesting final year students representing a number of law schools met law minister Veerappa Moily last Monday evening, calling the exam an unfortunate decision taken in haste that could cost jobs.

18 June 2010

wave_by-rachel_thecatA Chennai advocate and a retired mechanical engineer from Ahmedabad have independently filed two further writ petitions claiming that the Bar Council of India (BCI) is violating the 1961 Advocates Act and India's constitution by holding an all-India bar exam.

09 June 2010

photocopier_by_alancleaver_2000The Bar Council of India (BCI) is in talks with government agency Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) to automate BCI internal processes and design cost-effective or free anti-plagiarism software for law schools and other legal writers.

07 June 2010

library-corridor-by_eflonGraduating students can work as "trainee advocates" with advocates or law firms but will not be able to "practice" law until they pass the all-India bar exam, the Bar Council of India (BCI) said in a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) published today, noting also that seniority of practice would be unaffected.

04 June 2010

Legally India newsletterThere was a brief but heavy 4am pre-Monsoon shower in Mumbai on Tuesday morning but the real storm was faced by the Bar Council of India (BCI) this week.

02 June 2010

examination-hall_by_comedy-noseThe Bar Council of India (BCI) has announced that it will carry out its all-India bar exam in association with legal market services provider Rainmaker as a multiple choice test of 100 questions on 5 December 2010 that will require a "basic amount of preparation" to pass, although the BCI admitted that graduating students would probably not be able to practice in courts until 31 December.

02 June 2010

exam-study_by_umjanedoanLegal market services provider Rainmaker will run the proposed bar exam for the Bar Council of India (BCI) as the BCI is set to unveil its new website at 1pm today which was set up by the company.

17 May 2010

book-open_by-pareericaThe proposed bar exam will be an open book test exclusively giving litigating lawyers a "license to practice" but would not affect transactional lawyers, proposed solicitor general and Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman Gopal Subramaniam on Saturday, noting that the exam could also apply retroactively to unenrolled graduates from past years.

14 May 2010

Legally India newsletterIndian legal education finds itself at a pivotal time, with repercussions beyond just the student community. Yesterday, a number of NUJS Kolkata final year students led by professor Shamnad Basheer petitioned the Bar Council of India (BCI) to postpone the new bar exam until 2011, instead of holding it in August as originally envisaged.

Today, in a surprise U-turn, the BCI has agreed to push back the exam to December 2010.

14 May 2010

exam-study_by_umjanedoanThe Bar Council of India (BCI) has agreed to postpone the planned bar exam to December, BCI counsel KK Venugopal told the Supreme Court today in the case BCI v Bonnie FOI Law College & Ors, admitting the logistical challenge of holding the exam before September in a surprise U-turn.

13 May 2010

examination-hall_by_comedy-noseThe new bar exam for law graduates is understood to be held in late August with the Bar Council of India (BCI) set to announce the syllabus in a matter of days. Meanwhile, NUJS Kolkata final year students and Professor Shamnad Basheer have petitioned BCI chairman and solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam to postpone the exam until 2011 because they argue it prejudices students and is unconstitutional without amending the Advocates Act 1961.

23 April 2010

SG-Gopal-Subramanium_KIIT-cropThe Bar Council of India (BCI) has been pivotal in the debate on the entry of foreign law firms. The Solicitor general and newly elected BCI chairman Gopal Subramaniam tells Legally India about what has to happen before foreign lawyers can practice here.

19 April 2010

SG-Gopal-Subramanium_KIIT-cropSolicitor general and newly elected Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman Gopal Subramaniam talks to Legally India about his top priorities and pushes for a bar exam and continuing legal education, in this first part of a two-part interview.

16 April 2010

Legally India newsletterThe Bar Council of India (BCI) has a new chairman.

Unusually, this time the BCI did not select someone from amongst their elected midst but opted for ex-officio BCI member and solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam. The SG has ambitious plans such as the introduction of an Indian bar exam.

But for foreign firms hoping for a change in breeze with a new administration, the forecast remains uncomfortable. Much like Delhi and Mumbai's heat at the moment.

12 April 2010
Solicitor general of India and ex-officio Bar Council of India (BCI) member Gopal Subramanium was unanimously elected to serve as the BCI chairman for two years, following Suraj Narain Prasad Sinha in the position.
23 February 2010

Bar-Council-Delhi-KK-SareenK K Sareen has been elected chairman and Jaiveer Nagar vice-chairman of the Delhi Bar Council while Rajinder Singh Rana has been declared member delegate for the Bar Council of India (BCI).

19 January 2010

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled that the Bar Councils of India too are subject to Right to Information Act (RTI), following hot on the heels of the Office of the Chief Justice of India last week falling under the Act last week.

Various papers reported that the Bar Councils would now come under the purview of RTI.

"It is held that the Bar Councils - Bar Council of India and the State Bar Councils - are public authorities within the RTI Act... the Bar Councils are directed to take all necessary steps to carry out their duties and responsibilities assigned by the RTI Act," information commissioner AN Tiwari told Indian daily DNA.

Although the BCs admitted they were statutory bodies (under the Advocates Act), they denied that they were public authorities and funded wholly or partially by the state. They therefore objected to being subject to transparency requirements.

The CIC would have none of it, for the following reasons.

So, good news, the BCI now has to answer RTI requests. How well they will and whether they will get drowned in applications is another question.

More interestingly, however, what would you really really like to know about the inner workings of your Bar Councils (of India or otherwise)?

12 January 2010

Calcutta University students are still waiting for their LLB exams as the University has not finalised its the new exams as required by the Bar Council of India (BCI).

Local Kolkata paper the Telegraph wrote today that although exams were meant to be held in December 2009, the Calcutta University had not yet ratified the new syllabus and examination rules at the highest level.

The paper wrote that: "A senior CU official alleged that the authorities were reluctant to approach the syndicate because of 'loopholes' in the [BCI's] suggestions."

Intriguing.

As far as I understand most law schools have implemented the new BCI rules. Have they made any difference to your lives?

28 October 2009

IyerThomas-ElizabethSheshadriA quiet but happy revolution is taking place at the Indian Bar, argues Elizabeth Seshadri. But while the lethargic acceptance of the legal system's decay is slowly being shaken off, the pace of change must increase drastically.