A constitution bench of Apex Court decided the fate of AIBE exam (SLP(C)No.22337/2008)…Bar Council of India Vs Bonnie Foi Law College and Ors on 20 Sep 2022
Here is the causelist for 27 Sep 2022 and 28 Sep 20222022-09-27 Court-3 Constitution Bench
And here is the Order passed on 27-Sep-2022, saying Part-Heard.2022-09-27 Bar Council of India Vs Bonnie Foi Law College and Ors on 27 Sep 2022
Arguments heard. Hearing Concluded. Judgment reserved.2022-09-28 Bar Council of India Vs Bonnie Foi Law College and Ors on 28 Sep 2022
After around 3 months, the pronouncement of the judgment happened today. The highlights from the judgment are:
From Para 14,
d. Currently, any person who is provisionally enrolled is allowed to practice for two years, but is allowed to take the All India Bar Examination not just for those two years but for any number of times till he passes the All India Bar Examination. The date of reckoning seniority of the candidate is from the date of the provisional enrolment. However, it was submitted that unlimited number of attempts would not be in line with the scheme proposed by this Court and must be limited to any number that this Court deems fit.
From Para 30,
30. We are unable to agree with the reasoning in V. Sudeer24 that because the State Bar Councils’ power for providing training or for holding examination was taken away by the 1973 Amendment, it ipso facto amounts to taking away such powers if they so vested with the Bar Council of India.The legislative object was clear i.e. not to confer such powers on the State Bar Councils. However, that could not affect the position of the power of the Bar Council of India, and naturally such a power existed. If the Bar Council of India never had such a power, then the same could not be read by implication. But, if the Bar Council of India had sufficient powers, then the 1973 Amendment would not take away those powers of the Bar Council of India as the said amendment did not deal with the aspect of the powers of the Bar Council of India.
From Para 31,
31. In addition, the learned Judges in V. Sudeer25 opined that if such a power has to be conferred, it should be conferred legislatively. While in principle, there can be no disagreement with the broad proposition, the issue is whether such a power is already existing with the Bar Council of India
under the statutory provisions. The functions of the Bar Council of India, as specified under Section 7, inter alia prescribe an exercise of general supervision and control over the State Bar Councils under Clause (g) of Sub-Section (1) of Section 7. Further, under Sub-Clause (l), the Bar Council of India has the power to perform all other functions conferred on it by or under the said Act and under Clause (m) to do all other things necessary for discharging the aforesaid functions. The powers are, thus, wide and extensive as conferred by the legislature. Thus, when under Section 24(1), the Bar Council of India has the statutory power of prescribing Rules subject to which a person may be treated as qualified to be admitted as an Advocate in the State roll, then we believe that the Bar Council of India is not devoid of its jurisdiction in undertaking a pre-enrolment training course or examination prescribed by the Bar Council of India.
From Para 32,
32. In case of any subsisting doubt, we must refer to Section 49(1)(ag) of the said Act, which while dealing with the general powers of the Bar Council of India to make rules, specifically stipulates that the class orcategory of person entitled to be enrolled as advocates, is an aspect for which all powers have been conferred on the Bar Council of India. Thus, the provision for an examination for enrolment of advocates by the Bar Council of India can hardly be doubted. We had specified at the inception itself that quality control of entry into the Bar is the need of the hour.
From Paras 33 and 35,
Bar Council of India Vs Bonnie Foi Law College and Ors on 10 Feb 2023 (FULL)
33. The objective of the legislature while giving wide powers to the Bar Council of India under Section 49, which gives it the powers to make Rules, read with Section 24(3)(d), which gives it the powers to prescribe the norms for entitlement to be enrolled as an Advocate under the Rules of the Bar Council of India, leads us to the conclusion that these are adequate powers with the Bar Council of India under the said Act to provide such norms and Rules.
34. We are, thus, of the view that while considering the questions referred to us, the only conclusion which can be laid is that the interdict placed by the judgment of this Court in V. Sudeer26 on the powers of the Bar Council of India cannot be sustained and we cannot hold that V. Sudeer27 lays down the correct position of law.