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The Supreme Court today granted all State Bar Councils in the country another three months to complete verification of lawyers under the BCI (Certificate of Practice) Rules.
The order was passed today by a Bench of Justices PC Ghose and Amitava Roy after different State Bar Councils submitted status reports to the Bar Council of India (BCI) seeking more time to complete the process.
Advocate R Balasubramanian, appearing for the Bar Council of Delhi submitted that there are around 54,000 advocates enroled with the Delhi Bar Council. Out of that, around 30,000 have submitted their verification forms. He said that more time would be needed to verify the information received by the Bar Council.
The Court proceeded to issue notice to all State Bar Councils as many of them were not party to the case. It also allowed three more months to the State Bar Councils to complete the verification drive.
The court also said that it would hear the issue of validity of the BCI Rules independently and not wait for verification to be complete.
In May this year, the court had asked all the State Bar Councils to complete the verification drive and submit status reports regarding the same by June 30.
The CoP Rules of 2015, 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.
Earlier this month, a vacation bench of the apex court stayed a notification issued by the Bar Council of India revoking the exemption granted to Advocates-on-Record from verification.