Asia & Australia

November 22, 2017

6 lakh out of 15 lakh lawyers submitted verification forms, BCI to SC

Bar Council Of India, Supreme Court Of India

On November 21, the plea concerning verification of lawyers and conducting elections to various State Bar Councils was heard by the Supreme Court and it also reserved its order with regard to conducting of elections.

Petitioner Ajayinder Sangwan from the Bar Council of India, and various State Bar Councils were heard by a Bench of Justices RK Agrawal and AM Sapre an hour before reserving its order.

The progress made by various State Bar Councils regarding verification of lawyers’ degrees was being argued upon by Senior Advocate Rajiv Dutta, appearing for BCI.

Out of more than 15 lakh lawyers in the country, only 6 lakh lawyers have submitted verification forms, stated Dutta and blamed the shortage of time and resources at the disposal of universities as the main reason for delay in the same.

He also suggested that a direction be issued to form smaller committees in each state, so as to assist the Universities in completing the process.

Senior Advocate Jayant Bhushan, representing petitioner Sangwan, submitted that delay in completion of verification of lawyers should not be a ground to hold up elections.

“There should be elections, no doubt. But should elections be held up indefinitely till the slow process of verification is complete?” he asked.

Furthermore, he contended that the elections should be conducted with those lawyers who have submitted the forms being allowed to vote.

“Those lawyers who have submitted their application for verification should be allowed to vote. Otherwise this will go on indefinitely”, he said.

Various other State Bar Councils also made their submissions before the Court reserved its order in the matter.

In August 2017, the Supreme Court gave lawyers fifteen days to cure defective applications and to submit complete application forms for verification. A contempt petition was filed in Court against the Karnataka State Bar Council for alleged violation of the same, following the order.

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