To demarcate lawyers with fake degrees, the Bar Council of India (BCI) has now made it clear that every lawyer will have to mandatorily renew their licences every five years.
The BCI has asked all state Bar Councils to implement the verification process at the earliest. Under the new law, every advocate needs to submit his original degrees to the Bar Council he is registered with. BCI’s move seems to be more significant after former Delhi law minister Jitender Singh Tomar’s degrees were found to be fake. Delhi is the most legally concentrated state, with every 300th person here being a lawyer. The number of lawyers in Delhi has increased by 29 per cent in the last five years. BCI rules also take note of the alarming proportions of lawyers leaving the profession for other pursuits, but their names continue to remain in the State Bar Councils’ rolls, sometimes even after their demise.
BCI chairperson and advocate Manan Kumar Mishra explained the importance of the new rule. “Nearly 30 per cent of the lawyers have fake degrees and 20 per cent don’t practice. Such lawyers are the root cause for strikes and boycotts that happen at various courts,” Mishra said.
The BCI is also planning to frame rules making it mandatory for a lawyer to have at least five years of experience of practising in lower courts to join the high court.