BAR COUNCIL OF INDIA Vs. BONNIE FOI LAW COLLEGE
LAWS(SC)-2016-3-146
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on March 18,2016

BAR COUNCIL OF INDIA Appellant
VERSUS
Bonnie Foi Law College Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) One of the questions that has been raised for determination by this Court is whether the Bar Council of India is competent to prescribe an examination post enrolment of an advocate as a condition of eligibility for his continuing to practise at the Bar. An incident question that arises is whether pre-enrolment training in terms of the Bar Council Training Rules, 1995 framed under Section 24(3)(d) of the Advocates Act, 1961 is within the competence of the Bar Counsel of India and whether the decision of this Court in Sudeer v. Bar Council of India & Anr. [(1999) 3 SCC 176] holding pre-enrolment training to be beyond the competence of the Bar Council needs reconsideration. On the same analogy arises yet another question whether a pre-enrolment examination can be prescribed by the Bar Council of India as a condition precedent for enrolment under the Advocates Act.
(2.) Having heard learned counsel for the parties at some length including Mr. K.K. Venugopal, learned senior counsel who has assisted us as an amicus we are of the view that the questions that fall for determination are of considerable importance affecting the legal profession in general and need to be authoritatively answered by a Constitution Bench of this Court. We accordingly refer this matter to a five-Judge Bench for consideration and determining of the following three questions:- (1) Whether Pre-enrolment training in terms of Bar Council of India Training Rules, 1995 framed under Section 24(3)(d) of the Advocates Act, 1961 could be validly prescribed by the Bar Council of India and if so whether the decision of this Court in Sudeer v. Bar Council of India & Anr. [(1999) 3 SCC 176) requires reconsideration. (2) Whether a pre-enrolment examination can be prescribed by the Bar Council of India under the Advocates Act, 1961. (3) In case questions Nos.1 and 2 are answered in the negative whether a post-enrolment examination can be validly prescribed by the Bar Council of India in terms of Section 49(1)(ah) of the Advocates Act, 1961
(3.) Learned counsel for the parties shall now furnish additional sets of paper books within four weeks. The papers shall be placed before the Chief Justice of India for constituting an appropriate Bench.;


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