Gujarat law graduates challenge bar council decision

Six law graduates Tuesday knocked the doors of the Gujarat High Court challenging the Bar Council of India’s (BCI) resolution that requires students like them to clear a test for getting a licence for legal practice.

The division bench of Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi has posted the matter for hearing Wednesday.

Petitioner Urshit Bhusan Oza and others filed an application in the high court challenging the provisions of rules 9, 10 and 11 of the Advocates Act, 1961.

The rules require that a person applying for licence to practice in courts must be a law graduate.

The BCI resolution states that law graduates must appear in an eligibility test to get the licence to practice law.

Advocate for petitioners, Amit Panchal, submitted before the court that they completed their graduation in law in 2008-09 and completed specialization in 2009-10.

They stated in the petition that the new resolution can only be applicable to them if the BCI does not consider their degree of 2008-09.

They further submitted that their specialization in law was completed in 2009-10 and if the BCI considers 2009-10 as a cut off year then they would be granted a licence to practice which would be subject to the result of the eligibility test.

Panchal said that the BCI would conduct the examination Dec 5 and this would lead to loss of six months to them due to implementation of the new rules.

He requested the court to direct the BCI to grant them the licence to practice, while the petitioners would appear in the exams later.

The continuation of the licence would be subject to the result of the test, Panchal said.