Advocates won’t have to take a test for renewal of their sanad (practice licence), as the Bar Council of India has repealed the rule which made it mandatory earlier.
The Bar Council of India, on January 14, issued a notification which reads: “The council has resolved to repeal the Bar Council of India Certificate Practice and Renewal Rules, 2014.”
Under the earlier rule, the lawyers had to appear for an exam every five years for renewal of their practice certificate, and failure to do so could cost them their licence. The rule drew a lot of criticism.
“The rule was the need of the hour. In several courts, it was noticed that several people appeared as advocate without any valid certificate or degree. Moreover, no one updated the records or surrendered their sanad, in case they left the practice. Even the members who were dead were on the list of practicing advocates. To deal with this issue, the system of renewal of certificate was put in place,” said advocate Asif Qureshi, chairman, Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa.
Qureshi alleged several people were found to have been enrolled using fake certificates and took advantage of the welfare schemes. The council is looking at making new rules, where the licences of practicing advocates will be verified regularly. “The rule has now been repealed and the council is in the process of framing new rules for verification of sanad to keep a check on fake advocates,” Qureshi said.