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Advocacy crying for reforms, lawyers can’t have free ride: SC

The legal profession is “crying for reforms” and lawyers cannot be allowed to a have a “free ride as the administration of justice is a key area”, the Supreme Court observed on Wednesday and sought the response of the Bar Council of India (BCI) on a plea against the bar examination, which has been made mandatory for granting advocacy license.

A Bench, comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice UU Lalit, issued notice to the BCI on a plea, seeking quashing of the 2010 notification by which lawyers will have to clear the All-India Bar Examination (AIBE).

The court, which has now fixed the plea before a three-judge Bench on Friday, did not stay the AIBE, saying it is not “averse” to it and would examine as to whether it is permissible under the Advocates Act.

“The system is crying for reforms...There are over two million lawyers in the courts. Which means, we have enough lawyers and the future inclusion must be on merits,” it said, adding, “the profession is not something where you can have a free ride”.

The Bench equated the profession with the likes of medical and said, “If a man is incapable, then he will not be able to get and handle the cases. You (BCI) have to ensure that even a junior lawyer is capable to handle all kinds of cases”.

The CJI, during the hearing, referred to past practices of J&K and said a person had to undergo various stages before becoming a lawyer, who can argue in High Courts and the Supreme Court. 

“There are law colleges where you may not have faculty, no library or where attendance will not be marked. I believe there are law colleges where you have to just go and pay the fee, the rest is taken care off,” the CJI said.
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