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Over 45? Cannot be a lawyer

The Bar Council of Delhi recently restricted the enrolment of law graduates as lawyers if they are 45 or above, reports Naziya Alvi.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2007 02:45 IST

If you are a law graduate planning a legal career after retirement, think again. The Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) recently restricted the enrolment of law graduates as lawyers if they are 45 or above.

The rule, notified in the Bar’s gazette on December 18, was unanimously brought in by the body to restrict the entry of a large number of retired officers from the police, the CBI, income tax, customs and other organisations into the legal profession.

"A person who is otherwise qualified to be admitted as an advocate, but is more than 45 years of age on the date of submission of application for enrolment in the Bar Council, shall not be admitted as an advocate," says Rule 2 B of the BCD gazette. Judicial officers, however, have been exempted from the age bar. Legal experts feel that those who have already worked with influential organisations like the police or the CBI usually bank on their contacts and do liaison work for their clients. Such a nexus is harmful for the system. It also creates an unfavorable atmosphere for young lawyers who join the profession soon after passing college. “Those who join the profession late often mislead people by posing as seniors in the profession. They lie about the years of practice to the client to win their trust,” said Ramesh Gupta, chairman, BCD.  Every year over 3,000 law graduates enroll as advocates with the BCD; of these 20 per cent are those who come after retirement. “Such a rule also exists in other states like Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Haryana,” said Gupta. The BCD also claimed that it would help many lawyers in future as the number of youngsters opting for law as a profession had gone up in the past decade, after national law schools came into existence.

Email Naziya Alvi: naziya.alvi@hindustantimes.com