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The Supreme Court today directed all state Bar Councils to complete the verification process of advocates and to submit their report to the BCI by June 30. Elections to various Bar Councils have been delayed as a result of the verification not happening.
A Bench comprising Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Amitava Roy directed the same in a case filed by one Ajayinder Sangwan.
Senior Advocate KK Venugopal appeared for the BCI, while Senior Advocate Shyam Divan appeared for the petitioner.
The BCI’s 2014 verification rules initially precluded advocates with less than five years’ experience from practicing in the Supreme Court. However, that rule was rescinded the following year, when the Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules, 2015 was notified.
The new rules, which were introduced in order to weed out the undesirable elements in the bar, required state bar councils to verify the certificates of practice of all advocates on their rolls within six months. However, these rules ended up being challenged before a number of High Courts, including the Karnataka High Court.