CHENNAI: Following allegations of discrimination against young advocates, the Bar Council of India (BCI) has withdrawn the controversial Certificate of Practice and Verification Rule, 2014, that restrained advocates with less than five years of lower court experience from appearing before the Supreme Court.
BCI issued notification withdrawing the rule on January 14, 2015 to all State Bar Councils. JK Sharma, secretary, BCI, said, in the notification, “The Council has resolved to repeal the Bar Council of India Certificate of Practice and Renewal Rules, 2014 and accordingly the rules namely Certificate of Practice and Renewal Rules, 2014 are no more in existence. The Council is in the process of publication of some new rules namely Bar Council of India Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules, 2015,” he added.
The BCI had introduced three clauses to Rule 7, which required newly-enrolled lawyers to practice in subordinate courts for two years to be eligible to practice in High Courts and another three years at the High Courts for practicing in the Supreme Court. Confirming the withdrawal notification, chairman of Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, D Selvam, said, “Almost all the State Bar Councils have opposed the rules mandating minimum experience in lower courts. The right to practice before any court in the country is conferred to all advocates who have duly registered with a State Bar Council under Section 30 of the Advocates Act. The BCI cannot deny the right by simply passing rules.”