It may be recalled that The Bar Council of India has issued a Notification dated 29th October 2014 by which the “Bar Council of India Certificate of Practice and Renewal Rules. 2014” have been notified.
The Bombay Bar Association has now issued the following directive:
Bar Council of India has framed the “Bar Council of India Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules 2015” which provide as follows:
“8.1 An advocate graduating in law in academic year 2009-2010 to 30th June, 2010) and thereafter, enrolled on the “Roll of Advocates” on or after June 12, 2010, is required to apply for issuance of “Certificate of Practice” under All India Bar Examination Rules, 2010 and for verification of such “Certificate of Practice” from the State Bar Council in which he/she is enrolled as an advocate under Rule 9.
8.2 An advocate having obtained graduate degree in law before the academic year 2010 enrolled on the “Roll of Advocates”, is required to apply for verification of “Certificate of Practice and place of practice” from the State Bar Council in which he/she is enrolled as an advocate under this rule within a period of 6 months of the enforcement of these Rules/date of enrolment.”
Rule 5(a) provides for a separate form of verification for Senior Advocates. Members who are Senior Advocates are requested to kindly submit the form accordingly.
A copy of the rules is available with the Bar Association. The necessary forms for the application for verification are also available. The members are requested to comply with the said Rules and to make the necessary applications after getting the same certified from the Bar Association. The last date for compliance is 15th September, 2015.
Stay by the Kerala High Court
According to press reports, the Kerala High Court has granted an ad-interim stay on the operation of the said Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules – 2015 in the case of MOHANAN L Vs. BAR COUNCIL OF INDIA (Writ Petition Civil 17467 of 2015). The Petition claims there is patent discrimination in the issuance of the ‘certificate of practice’ because it is not required to be obtained by advocates enrolled after the year 2010, but only by advocates enrolled prior to that year. It is also claimed that banning lawyers from practicing without a valid certificate from BCI amounts to forbidding legal practice to an advocate who was enrolled with the Bar Council of Kerala and other state bar councils.
A copy of the Petition is available here. However, the text of the High Court’s order is not available. Also, the present status of the matter is not known.