The Delhi High Court has asked the Bar Council of India (BCI) to place on record ‘basis of its decision’ where in it had decided that 0.5% marks and above in a qualifying examination can be rounded off to 1%.
A single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh passed its order in a plea filed by a Law graduate who was unable to get herself registered with the Bar Council of Delhi as she does not have 42% in her graduation which is required for an OBC candidate.
During the hearing of the matter on February 18, 2021, the Counsel for the petitioner place on record “a letter dated 31st August, 2005 purportedly issued by the Bar Council of India to the Principal of one Law College in Uttar Pradesh, namely, Phoolwati Institute of Law, with a copy marked to the Registrar of Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. Therein, it has been conveyed that the BCI has taken a decision that 0.5% marks and above in a qualifying examination can be rounded off to 1% .”
Following which, the Delhi High Court has asked counsel appearing for BCI to check the records of the BCI and place on record any decision which forms the basis of the said letter.
The matter would now be heard on March 12, 2021.
According to the petition, “The case of the Petitioner is that she completed her 10th standard from CBSE board with 70% marks and 12th standard with 55% marks. She completed her graduation from the University of Delhi through the School of Open Learning, and obtained a B.Com degree with a percentage of 41.7%. She then took admission in Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut for her LL.B. course which she completed with a percentage of 58.8% in December, 2020.”
After that she has applied for enrolment as an advocate with the Bar Council of Delhi. But an objection was raised by the Bar Council of Delhi that since she does not have 42% in her graduation which is required for an OBC candidate and thus enrolment would not be possible.
On January 22, 2021, During the first hearing of this matter the Counsel for the petitioner had submitted that under the Advocates Act, 1961 she satisfies all the required criteria. Under the Bar Council of India Rules, there is no specific bar from giving enrolment to the Petitioner. He relied upon Rule 7 of the Bar Council of India Legal Education Rules, 2008. Finally he submitted that the Petitioner’s marks are 41.73% which can be rounded up to 42% and she ought to be given enrolment.
The Respondent vehemently opposed the submission made by the Petitioner and said,
that the Rule 7 of Bar Council of India Legal Education Rules, 2008 has been amended wherein it has been stipulated for OBC applicants the minimum percentage in graduation would be 42%. He said rounding off is not permissible for a qualifying examination.
After that the Court had directed the Bar Council of India to file a short affidavit. The Court had also directed the Bar Council of Delhi to decide upon the application for enrolment of the petitioner and directed it to place decision of its ‘Enrolment Committee’ regarding the same on record.