File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Baldev Raj Sharma v/s Bar Council Of India - 1989 Air 1541: Right Of Bar Council To Reject Enrollment Application

Baldev Raj Sharma submitted a writ petition under the 1989 decision governing Article 32. It was against the Bar Council of Haryana and Punjab's decision to deny his application to become an advocate. The Bar Council of India refused to enroll the applicant on the grounds that they did not meet the requirements under rule 1(1) (C) of the Rules of the Bar Council of India, which were created in accordance with Sections 7(h) and (i), Section 24(1) (c) (iii) and (iii-a), and Section 49(1) (d) of the Advocates Act, 1961.

According to Justice Pathak's ruling, the Bar Council of India has the ability to deny applications if the requirements of the Advocates Act aren't met. The difference between studying as a private student and as a regular student with attendance, according to the court, is having attendance. It recognized the value of attending law school, and the provision made it plain that frequent attendance must be supported by hands-on training through moots and training sessions.

The petitioner in this case was only a third-year regular student at VSSD College in Kanpur when he obtained his degree. He graduated from Kanpur University's two-year bachelor of laws programme in 1981.

The fact that he received his degree from Kurukshetra University as a private candidate was used to deny him admission to the bar because the Advocates Act's attendance requirements demanded that attendance be maintained continuously throughout the term. It had seemed as though the state bar council had delayed rejecting the application until after receiving the Bar Council of India's view.

The Supreme Court (SC) ruled that the Bar Council of India was correct to deny the applicant's application since admission would have been against the law. This brief examines the entire case in depth to demonstrate the BCI's rights in declining to enroll as an advocate in a high court.

Primary Details Of The Case
Case No.: Civil Writ Petition No. 747 of 1985
Jurisdiction: Supreme Court of India
Case Decided On: May 1, 1989

Legal Provisions Involved: The Advocates Act, 1961, Section 7, 24, 49; Rules of Bar Council of India
Judges: Justice R S Pathak

Brief Facts Of The Case
The petition was filed by Baldev Raj Sharma, who had completed his law degree, against Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana for the order rejecting his application for enrolment as an advocate and later Bar Council of India. The respondent in the case was Bar Council of India. He filed a civil writ petition against the State Bar Council and they later passed the case to the Bar Council of India. The respondent was hence the Bar Council of India which issued the final order rejecting his application for enrolment as an Advocate.

  • Baldev Raj Sharma passed his B.A. exam in March, 1972 from Punjabi University. In 1978 he joined the Bachelor of Laws of 2 years duration in a private manner.
  • In the year 1981 he was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Laws from Kurukshetra University. In 1981, petitioner joined Kanpur University in third year professional course for LL.B. The course had to be attended as a regular student. The most important fact in the case is that the two years from Kurukshetra University were without regular attendance.
  • The petitioner contended that the rules of Kanpur University made no distinction on whether the General course of LL.B. has to be pursued by regular attendance or as a non-collegiate student.
  • The petitioner also states that Kanpur University degree of LL.B. was a recognized degree and he attended all the requisite classes of LL.B. at the third year of Kanpur University.
  • He gave the final examinations and was awarded the degree on July 22, 1982. Upon the successful completion he applied to be an Advocate at Punjab and Haryana High Court and even paid the required fee.
  • The Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana denied the petitioner enrolment as an Advocate on April 26, 1983 on the basis of rules and provisions under Advocates Act, 1961.
  • The reason under these rules was that the petitioner has obtained his degree of two years study from Kurukshetra University as a private student.
  • On the receiving of the application the Bar Council had asked for the opinion of Bar Council of India. The Bar Council of India has similar opinions as the State Bar Council in this matter.
  • BCI used the rules stating that the rules mentioned regular attendance in the three years course of studies. Considering that the petitioner has not fulfilled the following condition the State Bar Council is right in denying admission. The BCI believed that there was a clear difference between private candidate course and a course taught with compulsory and regular attendance.

Issues Involved In The Case
  1. Does the Bar Council have the right to set regulations for law students to enroll as lawyer after graduation?

Legal Aspects Involved In Case
The Bar Council rejected his application as per the Rules of Bar Council of India which required the lawyer to study law from a college with a regular course mandating attendance etc. According to section 24(1)(C)(iii) of the Advocates Act a degree shall not be recognized post March 12, 1967, unless the requisite condition is fulfilled including that the course of study in law has been by regular, attendance at the requisite number of lectures, tutorials and moot courts in a college recognized by a University.

A new set of BCI Rules replaced these provisions in 1984 but they had rule 1(1) (c) which was similar to section 24 and required mandatory attendance in a regular course for a law degree to be valid. Section 24(1) (C) (iii) deals with the mandatory requirement of attendance of a regular course which is required for the law degree to be valid. The Advocates Act, 1961 talks about all the provisions which regulate the validity of law degrees and enrolment as Advocate in State Bar Councils.

Judgement In Brief
The writ petition filed by Baldev Raj Sharma under Article 32 of the Constitution of India against the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana order rejecting his enrolment as an Advocate. The application was rejected under the legal rules as the petitioner had not fulfilled the conditions laid down in Rule 1(1)(c) of the Rules of the Bar Council of India framed under S. 7(h) and (i), S. 24(1)(c)(iii) and (iiia) and S. 49(1)(d).

The rules required regular attendance which was missing as the petitioner had completed bachelors in law in a two years private course then followed by one year of regular attendance. This was different from the mandatory three years of regular attendance course. The policy underlying the relevant provisions of the Bar Council Rules indicates the great emphasis laid on regular attendance at the law classes. The conditions are specifically spelt out when the Act is read along with the Rules.

When so read, it is plain that a candidate desiring enrolment as an Advocate under the Advocates Act must fulfil the conditions mentioned in S. 24(1)(c)(iii) or S. 24(1)(c)(iiia) read with Rule 1(1)(c) of the Bar Council of India Rules, 1975. In the present case the petitioner failed to do so. It was held that his application was rightly rejected by the Bar Council.

The petitioner has not completed the course according to the guidelines of the Bar Council. The Bar Council had rules which had stated the requirement of attendance accompanied with various activities like moot courts and tutorials which encourage the practical aspect of legal education. It's an important case dealing with the rules governing Advocates. The Advocates Act and its interpretations are a matter of importance for law students and lawyers across the country.

The SC recognized the power of BCI to make such rules and allowed for the petition to be dismissed while agreeing that the rejection of the application was rightful. It was also made clear that his enrolment would have been in contravention with the clearly stated rules of Bar Council of India.

The case shows the difference between pursuing law and practicing law. The petitioner was pursuing law but did not have the right to practice law as an advocate due to lack of fulfilling the required conditions. This case has been cited in many cases and is a seminal case in terms of legal education. It's been used in cases like Kiran Kumari v. Delhi University to show the importance of attendance in a law student's life. The case has been seminal to show how private course is different from a regular course because of attendance.

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly