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BCI gives 4 weeks to take 13th foreign qualifier bar exam, again hides shamefully exorbitant application fee

Notice for the 13th qualifying examination for Indian nationals holding foreign law degrees
Notice for the 13th qualifying examination for Indian nationals holding foreign law degrees

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has yet again hidden the exorbitant application fees of at least $2,000 for the February 2018-scheduled 13th qualifying exam for Indians holding foreign law degrees, from its notification announcing the exam.

The notification has been published within seven months since the 12th edition of the exam was concluded, giving less than one month’s notice before the exam.

The BCI notified after 12 January 2017 that the exam would be held from 12-17 February 2018 daily from 11am to 2pm at the BCI's 21 Rouse Avenue office in Delhi.

The BCI also linked the format of an application form, including demand draft details to be filled in for the application fee, but did not state the application fee for the exam. It also laid out the syllabus and pattern for the question papers

In the 11th edition of the exam the BCI had raised its first-time application fee to Rs 1.73 lakh ($2000) and had kept repeat appearance fees at $73.

That said, only a handful of lawyers take the exam every year: in 2016 18 lawyers had paid up to $32,000 to the BCI, had waited 14 weeks for exam results.

The notification for the 12th edition was also dated 30 days before the exam was scheduled to be held,and was published 10 months after the 11th edition of the exam. The notification was not clear about the application process and deadline and had resulted in confusion and missing of the deadline by candidates as we had reported last year.

When we tried today, there were no official working phone numbers to reach the BCI's office for clarification about the exam fee and other examination details, but only a contact form which could be filled on the BCI's website for the regulator to reach persons posing it queries.

The BCI has not yet contacted us at the email and phone number we provided in the form several hours after we filled it earlier today.

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