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Breaking; Supreme Court stays proceedings under Bar Council’s Verification Rules [Updated] [Read the Order]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the proceedings under new ‘Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules, 2015’  which are pending before various High Courts. A Supreme Court bench of Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghose and R.K. Agrawal, during hearing of the Transfer Petition moved by Bar Council of India passed the following order “Issue notice. Dasti service, in addition, is permitted. In the meantime, no further steps be taken in the matters of  which are pending in the High Courts.”.

Since  many High Courts have already stayed the verification procedure introduced by the BCI, by seizing the matter and staying the proceedings pending before the High Courts, the order of the Supreme Court has the effect of ‘status quo’ whereby the stay orders passed by the High Courts would continue, unless an express order modifying the said orders  is passed by the Supreme Court.

The High Court of Kerala had on June 11, stayed the operation of the ‘Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules, 2015’ framed by the Bar Council of India. Under the said Rules, all advocates except senior counsel and Supreme Court advocates-on-record (AOR), have to apply under the Rules within six months of 13 January 2015, before receiving their certificates of practice, which will be obligatory for practice. Additionally, the Rules stipulate that this certificate will have to be renewed every five years.

The Petition before Kerala High Court had claimed that there is a patent discrimination in the issuance of theBar Council of India Certificate of Practice ‘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 had 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.

Matters being so, Bombay Bar Association had also issued a direction asking their members to verify themselves Before 15.09.2015 or face suspension. The directive read “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.”

Karnataka High Court had also stayed the operation of the rules “only in so far as the petitioner is concerned“.

Bar Council of India then moved a Transfer Petition in Supreme Court of India. It was called for hearing on 26th August and the Court stayed the proceedings pending before High Courts.

Read the order here.

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  • Rajiv Bhatarkar says:

    Is the document made available by the central/state public information officer (Deputy Collector ) through RTI application admissible as evidence in a court of law. (Supreme court order if any)

  • jay prakash singh says:

    My practice is only 30 months old, so please give me guide line for issuance of certificate of practice

  • jay prakash singh says:

    I practice from march 2014
    Plese give information & guide line….

  • Mou says:

    The rules came into being in 2015. But BCI told each lawyer to file one vakalatnama etc, each year from last 5 years to show continuity of practice…. with retrospective effect.

    More ever if someones right to practice is taken off for non continuity what will be the fate of his existing clients.

    I thing who framed rules for BCI may not have idea of court practice. By political patronage they came to hold the office of BCI. So ridiculous…

  • C.S.Nagesh says:

    Sending SMS to respective Bar councils will b sufficient REGARDING place of practice,enrolment number.etc., let be arrange computer to receive SMS ;its REASONABLE.

  • Debabrata Aich says:

    I was enrolled in 2014 In kolkata as advocate though i passed llb 2007 Do i eed all these hazards?

  • mariamaria says:

    What about litigants whose non-senior and non-SCAOR advocated will be prohibited from appearing in courts one fine day? Will vakalatnamas filed by them be nullified? Why this sudden activism by the BCI? Wasnt like this before Gopal took over.. and now we have such “capable” people heading BCI.

  • mithun kansari says:

    best riqurminte

  • yogesh says:

    Section 7 of the Advocates Act (hereinafter referred to as “the Act’) which prescribes the functions of the Bar Council of India does not include the power to insist on a certificate of practice to be required to be obtained from existing legal practitioners who are already on the rolls of the State Bar Councils and are entitled to practice as advocates as defined in Section 2(1)(a) of the Act in all parts of India. Since Section 7 does not provide specifically for fettering the rights of legal practitioners enrolled to the Bar council of India, it cannot insist on such a certificate as the functions of the Bar Council as delineated under Section 7 does not empower it to either insist on such a certificate or collect fee for it

  • yogesh says:

    Section 49, to which the power to issue such Rules has been traced, only provides for power to issue general principles for the guidance of the State Bar Councils and the manner in which the directions issued by the Bar council of India may be enforced, and that rule making power under Section 49 does not exist in the statute book and the Rules impugned are therefore ultra vires the Advocates Act and beyond the powers of the Bar Council of India