As the title of the articles describes, in today’s times, the law in legacy is the lawyer in practicality. Like the day before yesterday, I came across a news that the Bar Council of India had pleaded for a judicial aspirant’s prior practice as a mandatory eligibility criterion before sitting for the exams. Out of curiosity, I instantly opened LiveLaw to check the authentication.
I realised that recently Andhra Pradesh had also requested such eligibility criteria for exams that are approximately three years and some aspirant have filled plea that it to be a violation and illegal criteria. The judicial services are considered the most prestigious and renowned services all over India to every law student. The paper is one of the ten toughest exams for any service in India.
As for the law students in the last year of their law school or even the one who have just entered law colleges, this will have a deep impact not only mentally and emotionally but also economically. I personally didn’t get the logic behind the eligibility criteria as all the college across India are registered under the supervision of the BCI, and even the syllabus of every law college is under their direction. If the concept of practice is missing in the syllabus, they are indirectly pointing fingers on themselves. If a person has already practised for three years in the court, it will make it even more difficult to conclude the honourability, corruption-free disposal of cases.
The petition liberally keeps an eye on the students who clear judicial examinations in their first attempt. After just clearing some exams, they sit on the bench to decide cases represented by the senior advocates. If the Supreme Court entertained the petition, it would simply open doors for senior lawyers and somewhat close doors for the fresh graduates whose family have no legacy in law.
Even a Financial Express study says that 82% of pending judicial cases are delayed due to lawyers and not the judges. So how come new judges are considered to be solely responsible for the delay in the cases. Also, all the students who appear for the judiciary are the students who clear the BCI exams. If those exams cannot provide a licence to practice in the court, how come after clearing this exam, BCI can issue it?
If even after spending three years in the courtroom, a person still can’t get any case, who would be responsible? No one can compel any client to give cases to new, fresh lawyers. Moreover, if any student out the nowhere can complete, why would they want to enter judicial services? Why would anyone come for the judicial services that too after so much practice?
In the meantime, freshers will not be able to support themself for the duration of the practice. We can see that senior advocates can’t even bear the expenses of interns on a stipend. Then how come fresh graduates will be able to survive with no means? BCI should be prepared to give stipends plus secure tenure of employment as a litigant to every judicial aspirant until they fulfil the three-year pre-requirement.
On the contrary, BCI should look forward to extending the term of the training given to every judicial officer before assigning court. They should also make changes in the pattern of the syllabus set up by them and make mock court mandatory subjects.
In a country like ours where democracy is represented on such a vast stage, BCI as reputed as it is should be looking to create more opportunities for the young lawyers. But they are reclining towards closing doors on new lawyers, and it is turning into a form of punishment for the students who are getting into this occupation.
As a suggestion, BCI can look forward to increasing the time duration of the training, which at present is 11 months. It can be increased to 22 months. Also, they should increase the jobs so that we can overcome unemployment. If we can’t do that, give them a fair chance to compete for the judiciary.