PIL seeks to cancel or postpone December 3 bar council exams
Mumbai: Two lawyers from Mumbai have filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking cancellation or postponement of the upcoming December 3 All India Bar Examinations, conducted by the Bar Council of India (BCI).
The reasons cited by the petitioners -- Mukesh G. Gupta and Pooja S. Pandey -- is the short notice given by the BCI to the candidates to upload their documents for appearing for the crucial examinations which would qualify them to practice law all over India.
The registration process for the AIBE started on September 1, and closed on October 31, and thereafter all online and offline registrations closed on November 13.
The candidates were due to be issued their Admit Cards for the AIBE by November 18, and extended by another two days.
On November 20, the BCI said that Admit Cards for all cities except Nanded (Maharashtra), Delhi, Gurugram, Jodhpur, and Sawantwadi (Goa), had been released, but for these five (cities) it would be released by November 22 by 5 p.m., but was actually released late in the night of November 22.
Meanwhile, suddenly on November 18, the BCI released a notification giving a 'last call' for candidates to upload (online registrations) or send (offline registrations) their correct documents and declared a list of those (candidates) who had failed to comply. The time-limit to comply was 12 noon of November 19.
Gupta and Pandey said most of the 2,500-odd candidates received the emails very late in the evening, and many others especially living in the mofussil areas failed to even see it due to power cuts or internet problems, and the BCI has now debarred all such candidates from appearing for the AIBE.
Now, despite paying their examination fees of Rs 3,560, they could lose the opportunity to appear for the AIBE for delays on the parts of the BCI and no fault of the candidates.
Accordingly, the petitioners Gupta and Pandey have urged the Bombay High Court to quash the BCI notification of November 18, order extension of the time-limit to enable all candidates submit their documents, cancel or postpone the December 3 examinations, or alternatively refund the examination fees collected from all such debarred candidates or treat it as advance payment for next year's examination.
The PIL is likely to come up for hearing before the high court on Tuesday, the petitioners said.