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Six months after LI’s ‘mischief’ RTI, BCI finally shares 1,600 pages of meeting minutes

BCI let's the sun in
BCI let's the sun in

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has complied with Legally India’s 20 October 2014 right to information (RTI) request on 20 April 2015, supplying around 1,600 pages of documents.

Legally India had requested the BCI to supply all its meeting minutes of the executive committee, the legal education committee and any committee convened for the purposes of the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) between November 2011 and 20 October 2014, a list of all law colleges affiliated, reaffiliated and disaffiliated by the BCI during that period, and a list of all law colleges whose inspection by the BCI was due on 20 October 2014.

On 12 December, the BCI backtracked on its consent to fulfil the RTI request, with chairman Manan Kumar Mishra claiming that Legally India would use the requested documents to create “mischief”.

At the end of January 2015, after several independent lawyers also filed RTIs for the same documents in solidarity, the BCI finally allowed Legally India’s RTI appeal at the end of January, promising the copies of the documents within three weeks.

After paying Rs 3,172 via cheque dated 26 February 2015 to the BCI, as requested by the BCI to cover its costs of complying with the RTI, and several follow-up calls and an email on 15 April, the BCI agreed to provide the documents at its offices on 20 April.

At its offices, the BCI provided photocopies of:

  • executive committee meeting minutes from

    • 2011: November

    • 2012: April, July, September, September and December

    • 2013: February, March, April

    • 2014: February, March, June, October

  • Legal Education Committee meeting minutes from

    • 2011: January, April, August, September, November

    • 2012: March, May, July, August, September

    • 2013: May, June, July, August, September, November

    • 2014: May, July, August, September

  • A list of 12 meetings convened by the BCI in 2012 for the purposes of the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) and specific meeting minutes of the two meetings held in June, one in July and two in August.

  • List of law colleges to be inspected by the BCI, a list of law colleges which have not applied for inspection and extension of affiliation and list of law colleges which have applied for fresh approval of affiliation as on 20 October 2014.

  • List of law colleges approved or reaffiliated by the BCI for the year 2013.

  • Existing and new law colleges allowed approval and extension of affiliation or refused affiliation in 2011-2012.

Legally India will digitise and publish all documents obtained through the RTI over the coming weeks.

We will be starting with the thinnest bundle shortly: the set of minutes and documents relating to the All India Bar Exam (AIBE).

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