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New BCI chair Mishra vows to start compulsory training, lawyer insurance, continue HRD fight

Mishra: Takes the chair today
Mishra: Takes the chair today
Senior advocate Manan Kumar Mishra, Bihar State Bar Council’s representative to the Bar Council of India (BCI), unanimously won this year’s election for BCI chairman on 15 April and took charge with effect from today.

He replaces senior counsel Ashok Parija, who did not stand for re-election to the post Legally India had reported last week.

Present BCI vice-chairman Zafar Ahmed Khan, who is the Madhya Pradesh state bar council nominee to the BCI, was re-elected as vice chair.

Mishra, who practices in the Patna High Court and the Supreme Court, travelling to Delhi on Mondays and Fridays, is a designated senior in the Patna High Court since November 2006. He had joined the bar in 1980.

He said that improvement in Indian legal education was a strong focus of the BCI, which would meet next week to decide the future course of action in this regard.

On the ongoing tussle between the BCI and the human resource development (HRD) ministry, he said: “We are strongly opposed to that bill. We are just going to meet on coming Sunday. There is a steering committee to oppose the bill and chalk out the plan.

“Sunday in Delhi we shall organise a meeting of the Bar Council of India. And lawyers, from all over India, are even ready to come out on the roads to support this cause.”

Apart from legal education, Mishra said he had other goals during his tenure as chairman. “I had a discussion with the honourable law minister on fifteenth [April] evening, and the law minister had assured me that he’s going to introduce the insurance of lawyers all over the country.

“The next plan of the honourable minister is to ensure compulsory training for young lawyers, with a three-years stipend.”

Mishra said that plans to implement the insurance scheme, compulsory training, and setting the date of the next bar exam would be discussed at the next BCI meeting.

Mishra noted that the BCI’s stance with respect to the entry of foreign law firms into India, remained unchanged and that this would continue in the absence of reciprocity.

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