Bar Council of India Vs. Twinkle Rahul Mangonkar And Others

COURT: Supreme Court of India

CORAM: Sanjay Kishankaul J, and M.M Sundresh J

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 21 April 2022

FACTS

An appeal was filed by BCI challenging the Gujarat High Court verdict where it has allowed persons with other employment, to enrol as advocates without resigning from their jobs. The BCI had previously filed a detailed affidavit in response to a Court order dated March 15 requesting a response from the BCI. According to the affidavit, the AIBE was a post- enrolment exam, and an advocate was not permitted to engage in any profession or job under the Rules of the Bar Council of India or the Advocates’ Act. According to the BCI, this Rule ensured that persons in jobs did not receive benefits from the Advocates’ Welfare Fund and were not on the voter list for Bar elections.Despite these submissions, the BCI stated that it had formed a high-level committee comprised of many senior advocates and former judges to investigate the issues and submit a report.

JUDGMENT

The bench taking note of the submissions of the Parties remarked, “We are inclined to accept the plea of the Amicus that the BCI may adopt the aforesaid process by giving provisional enrolment to enter in a B register with the appropriate undertaking that such enrolment would not be interpreted as a right to practice in the intervening period. This act of balancing would be in accord with the doctrine of proportionality as elucidated in the previous hearings by the Ld. Amicus and would not be in contradiction to the decision in V. Sudeer case…

If a person continues to be in employment, then they would have the requirement of taking the Bar examination again at the appropriate stage when they seek to give up employment and enroll themselves at the Bar. The period of six months suggested by the amicus is good enough for a person to take a call whether they want to be in employment or continue with the profession in law”. The bench clarified that it should not be a case where a person takes the examination and continues in employment for a period of time says 10 years and thereafter seeks seniority based on the exam taken years ago.

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