The Supreme Court today sought response from apex bar body Bar Council of India on a plea challenging holding of All India Bar Examination for granting advocacy licences, saying the profession has become “overcrowded” and the system is “crying for reforms”.
A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice U U Lalit said the matter needs elaborate examination by a three-judge bench and indicated that it may appoint an amicus curaie to assist it in reforming the system.
The bench also said that it would examine as to whether conducting the AIBE falls under the statutory sanction of the Advocates Act or not.
“We have too many lawyers practising the profession and this profession has become overcrowded,” the court said, adding that there has to be a system in place to ensure that only capable professionals enter the profession.
“The system is crying for reforms,” the bench said.
The court was hearing a plea of R Nagabushana seeking quashing of BCI’s notification on AIBE on the ground that it takes away the statutory right, given to an eligible person to practice law.
The BCI conducts AIBE to examine an advocate’s capability to practice the profession of law and it has been made mandatory.
The apex court yesterday had observed that the right to practice law is a fundamental right for LL.B degree holder and introduction of the examination by Bar Council of India for granting advocacy license “negates” the very right.
The BCI had claimed that the AIBE assesses skills at a basic level and is intended to set a minimum benchmark for admission to the practice of law.
“It (AIBE) addresses a candidate’s analytical abilities and understanding basic knowledge of law,” the bar body said.
The notification bringing the AIBE into force was passed by the Legal Education Committee and the members of the Bar Council of India in meetings held on April 10 and 30, 2010.