THE PUNJAB and Haryana Bar Council will soon cancel the licences of over 500 advocates who have not appeared for the All-India Bar Examination after enrolling themselves with the state bar in 2010.
The Punjab and Haryana Bar Council had recently received a communication from the Bar Council of India (BCI) wherein it had asked the state bar council to identify the lawyers who have appeared in the All India Bar Examination.
In a communication received by the state bar council issued on May 30, 2016 it was distinctly mentioned that as per a resolution passed by the BCI on August 28, 2012, and the All India Bar Examination Rules, 2010, if any advocate is unable to appear or pass the All India Bar Examination within two years of his date of enrollment, he or she will not be entitled to practice. The rules are effective from June 12, 2010.
Such lawyers will also not have the right to vote in the elections of bar associations or state bar councils if he is unable to appear for the exam.
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The Punjab and Haryana Bar Council presently is busy preparing the list of advocates who did not appear for the exam and the count of lawyers has touched 500 already.
The BCI had asked to prepare the list of lawyers who were enrolled up to June 2014, and if they have not passed the All India Bar Examination then it has urged the state bar to remove their names. It has also told the state bar to ensure that the lawyers whose names have been struck off should not be included in the list of voters.
Punjab and Haryana Bar Council chairman Rajat Gautam said, “We are supposed to prepare the list and cancel the licences of the lawyers by the end of June. The list is almost done and we will soon be implementing it. The licences of lawyers who have enrolled themselves with the bar between June 2010 and June 2014 but have been unable to appear for the All India Bar Exam will be cancelled.”
He added, “This exam is held twice a year and the advocate can give four attempts to clear it. The exam is held in April and November.”
On the issue of cancellation of licences, senior advocate Anupam Gupta said, “The legal validity of the All India Bar Examination held by the BCI has been challenged in the Supreme Court on March 18. A three-member bench of the apex court headed by the Chief Justice has referred this issue to a five-member bench for consideration. As the examination itself is under challenge, the legality of the BCI’s letter is also debatable.”
Advocate Sajjal Sharma, who had enrolled in 2014, said, “I have already appeared for the exam and almost everyone I know have cleared the exam. It is a good move as there should be a governing body to monitor the lawyers as well.”
Among those whose licence is likely to be cancelled is advocate Vishal Saini from Jind. He said, “I had appeared for the exam for the first time. The BCI had first sent me a letter than I have cleared it. However, a few days after that I received a letter stating that I have not cleared it. Then I again appeared for it and am awaiting the result.”
Advocate Sachin, who practices in Bhiwani, said, “I was unable to clear in the exam in the first attempt. Have given it again and hope to clear it soon.”