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Bar Council of India
Bar Council of India

All India Bar Exam – X ‘tentatively’ scheduled for February 26

Murali Krishnan

The tenth All India Bar Exam (AIBE) is likely to be held on February 26, 2017.

As per the notification on the website of AIBE and Bar Council of India (BCI), the tentative date for the exam has been fixed for February 26.

Online registration for the exam is likely to commence on January 6.

AIBE, which is conducted by the BCI, has come in for a lot of flak over the years.

The Supreme Court of India is currently seized of a petition concerning the Constitutional validity of AIBE.

The petition, which was filed in 2013, came up for hearing on March 1, 2016 before a Bench presided by Chief Justice Thakur and comprising Justices R Banumathi and UU Lalit. This Bench had issued notice in the matter on March 2. Though the Bench expressed that it was not averse to the exam, it felt the need to examine whether the existing system was within the confines of the law.

Two days later, the 3-judge bench expressed its intentions of referring the matter to a Constitution Bench, and requested Senior Advocate KK Venugopal to assist the court in the matter.

On March 18, the Court referred the matter to a Constitution bench while framing the following three questions for consideration:

“1. Whether BCI can prescribe a pre-enrolment training in terms of the BCI (Training) Rules, 1995 as framed under Section 24 (3)(d) of the Advocates Act, 1961. If so whether the case of V Sudhir v. BCI has been correctly decided?

2. Whether a pre-enrolment exam can be prescribed by BCI as a condition precedent for enrolment?

3. If the above questions are answered in the negative, then whether a post-enrolment exam can be validly prescribed.”