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The Validity of AIBE : Constitution Bench of Supreme Court Reserves The Decision but why?

The Supreme Court has started hearing petitions challenging the validity of the All India Bar Examination (AIBE).


A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has reserved judgment on petitions challenging the validity of the All India Bar Examination (AIBE). A five-judge bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Justice A.S. Oka, Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JK Maheshwari.





The main petition is an appeal for special leave filed by the Bar Council of India (BCI) against a 2008 decision of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in a matter relating to the grant of affiliation and recognition to a law college.


When the matter went to the apex court in appeal, then Chief Justice TS Thakur referred it to a five-judge Constitution Bench for final determination of "substantial questions affecting the legal profession in general" raised before the apex court. It was during the pendency of this petition that the Bar Council of India, headed by Senior Advocate Gopal Subramaniam, decided to conduct the All India Bar Examination for the first time in 2010. After more than six years of referring the matter and more than 14 years since the High Court's decision, the Constitution Bench is finally set to put the dispute to rest.


On Tuesday, the Attorney General of India and Senior Advocate K.K. Venugopal and Amicus Curie Senior Advocate K.V. Viswanathan's arguments were heard. He questioned the correctness of the legislation laid down in V. Sudhir v. Bar Council of India [(1999) 3 SCC 176] and emphasized on pre-enrollment examination. This argument was shared by BCI President Manan Kumar Mishra and Vice President S. Prabhakaran, who appeared for the statutory body.


V.Sudeer vs Bar Council Of India & Anr on 15 March, 1999 - CASE 1999



Viswanathan continued to criticize the Supreme Court's decision in v. Sudhir [(1999 3 SCC 176]. He also on the soundness of the decision in Indian Council of Legal Aid and Advice v. Bar Council of India [(1995) 1 SCC 732] raised the question, which was relied upon by the Sudir Bench. Viswanathan claimed that on the basis of these decisions, the Bar Council of India has been placed in a subordinate position in comparison to the State Bar Council. He urged that within the purposes of the Act There is a need to preserve the supremacy of the Bar Council in the light of the organizational structure created.


Validity of AIBE:- 27/9/2022


Validity of AIBE: Constitution Bench of Supreme Court to consider powers of BCI to schedule examination after enrollment on September 27


The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will begin hearing petitions challenging the validity of the All India Bar Examination on September 27, 2022. A 5-Judge Bench comprising Justice S.K. Kaul, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Justice AS Oka, Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JK Maheshwari, Senior Advocate K.V. Viswanathan and Attorney General K.K. Venugopal to assist the bench. Justice Kaul said that in a petition titled Bar Council of India v Twinkle Rahul Mangaonkar et al., criticizing a judgment of the Gujarat High Court, which allowed persons in other employment, whether full-time or part-time, to be enrolled as advocates without permitted to. Resigning from his job, a Division Bench headed by him exhorted the BCI to conduct an introspection on the existing mechanism for conducting bar examination, improving the quality of the said examination, quality of legal education and admission system in the country. instructions have been issued. Considering that the order passed in the said case would be of great significance in the present proceedings, the bench urged them to be included in the compilation.


Justice Kaul observed that Mr. Vishwanathan, appointed amicus curiae in Bar Council of India v Twinkle Rahul Mangaonkar and others, can provide valuable insights into various aspects of the present proceedings. Advocate Ardhendumouli Kumar Prasad, appearing for BCI, explained the origin of the issue as it is before the Constitution Bench. BCI had formulated the Bar Council Training Rules, 1995 and started pre-enrolment training. This was challenged in Sudeer v. Bar Council of India et al. (1999) 3 SCC 176. The Supreme Court had quashed the pre-enrolment training considering it was beyond the competence of the Bar Council. Subsequently, in 2010, the All India Bar Examination was introduced by the BCI, which was challenged before the Supreme Court.


From the above challenge the following issues arise which need to be considered by the Constitution Bench -

(1) Whether references to the Bar Council of India Training Rules, 1995 framed under Section 24(3)(d) of the Advocates Act, 1961 Pre-enrollment training in training may be legitimately determined by the Bar Council of India and whether the Court's decision in Sudheer v. Bar Council of India & Ors [(1999) 3 SCC 176)] requires reconsideration.


Also Read - Terms of invitation of tender not subject to judicial scrutiny unless they are arbitrary, discriminatory or malicious: Supreme Court


(2) Whether a pre-enrolment examination may be prescribed by the Bar Council of India under the Advocates Act, 1961.


(3) If question numbers 1 and 2 are answered in the negative, whether the post-enrolment examination by the Bar Council of India in accordance with section 49(1)(ah) of the Advocates Act, 1961 is valid can be determined from.

[Case: BCI Vs Bonnie FOI Law College & Ors. [SLP (C) No. 22337/2008]



All you advocates think that AIBE exam should be held or not, but why do you think about it? Vote on one of the two options Thank you for your valuable vote

  • 0%1 ) AIBE Exam Should Be Held

  • 0%2 ) AIBE Exam Should Not Be Held









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