The Delhi High Court has asked the Bar Council of India (BCI) for informing it about the next scheduled date of All India Bar Examination (AIBE), which was last conducted on October 30, 2021.
Justice Pratibha M Singh who was giving the order also asked BCI to consider having a “pre-set schedule” for conducting AIBE so that there is clarity on certain issues like the dates of the biannual examination.
She added that this would ensure that the provisionally enrolled advocates can prepare accordingly.
The judge having known that the AIBE examination has not been conducted after October last year, explained that the court Rule 9 of All India Bar Examination Rules would not be operational qua such advocates who are unable to clear their examination within the period of two years of their provisional enrolment.
As per the rule no advocate enrolled under the Advocates Act, 1961 shall be entitled to practise unless such advocate successfully clears his AIBE exam which is conducted by BCI.
The exam is to be cleared by an advocate who is provisionally enrolled within two years.
A plea was moved over by a lawyer Nishant Khatri who got enrolled with Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) on 19 November, 2019.
In his plea he requested not to be debarred from practicing in courts due to non conduct of AIBE examination.
Justice Singh clarified that considering the delay in conduct of the examination, the petitioner-lawyer would not be debarred or disqualified.
The petitioner referred to an order of the Supreme Court which was passed on August 2 wherein it was recorded that the exam would be conducted in November 2022 but it could not be conducted last month.
The counsel appearing for BCI ssaid that there has been a delay in conducting AIBE due to the change of agency in conducting the examination and the notification of the same shall be issued soon.
When the Court asked what would be the position of the advocates who are unable to take the AIBE within two years due to the non conduct of examination, it as told that the counsel would like to seek appropriate instructions in the matter.
The court noted that as the exam has to be cleared within two years from the date of provisional enrolment, a large number of advocate face the threat of debarment due to non conduct of AIBE in terms of Rule 9.
The court said that it passed an order on August 2, where it was recorded that the BCI had made a statement that the syllabus would be published within 15 days and examination would be held within a period of 3 months thereafter.