The Bar Council of India is a statutory body created by Parliament to regulate and represent the Indian bar. We perform the regulatory function by prescribing standards of professional conduct and etiquette and by exercising disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar. We also set standards for legal education and grants recognition to Universities whose degree in law will serve as qualification for enrolment as an advocate.
In addition, we perform certain representative functions by protecting the rights, privileges, and interests of advocates and through the creation of funds for providing financial assistance to organize welfare schemes for them.
The Bar Council of India (BCI), headquartered at Delhi is a constitutional body formed under the Advocates Act, 1961. BCI regulates legal education and professional standards in India including directing the state bar councils, standardizin law education, and course the framework at the universities and law colleges in India as well as conducting the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) to grant ‘Certificate of Practice’ to advocates practicing law in India. BCI also funds welfare schemes for economically weaker and physically handicapped advocates. The law graduates have to enroll with their state’s bar council on payment of Rs 600 and Rs 150 to the BCI.
Bar Council of India under its formation has been given powers to regulate many things. Few major powers that BCI holds are divided amongst the committees set up by the Advocates Act. Section 9 of the act sets up the Legal Education Committee and under Section 10 an Executive Committee is set up. Chapter III of the Bar Council of India Rules permits the Council to form more committees in addition to those specified in the Act. The Council also has the power to delegate the duties or functions to these committees.
Legal Education Committee has the power to make recommendations to the council for laying the standard of legal education. This committee also goes for inspection to different universities and reports to BCI.
Disciplinary Committee of BCI hears an application for revision by persons against summary dismissal of their complaints against advocates for professional misconduct, by the state bar councils.
Executive Committee deals with all the questions related to the management of funds, affairs of the staff, allotment of work, audit, accounts, library, and legal publications delegation.
Advocate Welfare Committee is empowered by the Advocates Welfare Act, 2001. This committee looks after the application procedure made by advocates for welfare funds. It also verifies their application and provides the fund.
Legal Aid Committee has the power to offer services to the poor, who cannot afford the services of a lawyer. This committee gives the payment of the court from the charges of preparing a case, drafting to filing the case.
Other committees look after the infrastructure of the council’s office across the country.
All these committees work under the BCI. BCI has the power to discontinue of recognition of any University which is based on the recommendation by the Legal Education Committee. BCI also hears every appeal which is proceeded by the Disciplinary Committee.
BCI has the power to conduct the All India Bar Examination (since 2010) wests an advocate’s ability to practice law. An aan advocate must pass this examination to practice law in any court.
BCI also conducts the National Moot Court the competition promotes advocacy skills amongst law students through Bar Council of India Trust (public charitable trust). There is an Indian Bar Review which is a quarterly journal of BCI and is among the top legal periodicals in the country.