Structure of Bar Councils in India: A Brief Introduction & History

Bar Council is a term of normal speech for the people identified with and engaged with the exercises of Legal Fraternity. Be that as it may, regardless of being a term of such a broad use it is infrequently perceived in its actual sense and all the more particularly known for its authentic setting. Bar in layman’s language can be characterized as an aggregate term for supporters or lawyers authorized to rehearse in all or explicit courts of a satisfy. Taking a look ever, we come to realize that “bar” discovers its foundations in the Courts of England attributable to use of a bar as a segment in order to isolate the devout Court corridor into two sections with an expect to isolate Officers of the Court just as Barristers and Attorneys from admirers and the General Public.

Authoritarian sources such as Black’s Law Dictionary defines “Bar” as “the railing that separates the front area where the judge, court personnel, lawyers and witness conduct court business, from the back area which provides seats for observers.” The same dictionary has also defined the ‘Bar’ as “the whole body of lawyers qualified to practice in a given court or jurisdiction; the legal profession or an organized sub-set of it.” In the modern context, the term “bar” has acquired distinctive importance owing to change in the dynamics of the legal profession and now collectively refers to the Advocates licensed by the proper authority to practice in all or particular courts within the territorial bounds of the State.

Quite often, in a global context, the terms “bar councils” and “bar associations” are used synonymously to refer to a professional and quite often a statutory body regulating the legal profession in the particular country ensuring the bare minimum standards of conduct and ethics to be followed in courts of law and may often also control and regulate Legal Education along with Legal Profession. However, considering the Indian Context, “Bar Council” and “Bar Association” are two completely different organizations entrusted with different functions, having different powers and more importantly having different legal statuses and sanctity. The two bodies function within their own, clearly defined boundaries however with a common goal of strengthening and uplifting the legal profession and legal fraternity in India. Owing to the restrains of the research proposition, this article will focus in-depth only on “Bar Council”.

Section 5 of the Advocates Act, 1961 invariably provides for every Bar Council to be a “Body Corporate” having a common seal and perpetual succession. Rendering, a statutory body as that of the bar council of India, with the status of a ‘body corporate’ ensues several Legal consequences. This main objective sought to be achieved through this article is to analyze in detail, such consequences entailed purely from the lens of law. However, before delving into the peculiarities associated with the status of Bar Council as a Body Corporate, it is incumbent to briefly examine the history as well as the structure of Bar councils in India.

History and Structure of Bar Councils In India

As India gained independence from British principle, the lawful calling in India confronted a serious emergency as the Indian Bar Councils Act, 1926 neglected to set up a bound together public Bar and totally forgot about pleaders and mukhtars out of its extension and ambit. Thus, not long after coming in power of the Indian Constitution on 26 January 1950, a goal was passed by the Inter-University board constantly stressing the requirement for an All India Bar and the need for consistency in setting elevated expectations for lawful training across various colleges.

Under the administration of Shri S. Varadachariar, the Madras Provincial Lawyers Conference in May 1950 set out to comprise a board to be designated by the Indian Government in order to advance another plan for All India Bar and to make all the vital changes, revising and merging the Indian Bar Councils Act with an expect to get it congruity with the recently implemented Constitution. It is relevant to take note that a then individual from parliament, Shri Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi on April 12, 1951, presented a bill looking for alterations in the India Bar Council Act. The Indian government thinking about the elements of the time and needs of recently conceived India thought of it as important to help the bill. To assess the practicality of a bound together Bar in India, an advisory group of request known as All India Bar Committee under the chairmanship of Justice S.R. Das was set up in August 1951. Aside from surveying the Feasibility of a bound together public Bar, the panel was likewise to consider a few other significant perspectives, for example, duration or abrogation of the double arrangement of advice for various states, the reasonability of having a different bar gathering for the Supreme Court, and above all modification, combination, and revision of the current enactment relating to the topic of legitimate calling in India.

The All India Bar Committee presented its report in 1953 recommending All India Bar and abolishing different classes of practitioners. The report gave several other recommendations so as to strengthen the legal profession in India. At this point, it is also pertinent to note that in 1958 the 14th Law Commission Report on Reforms in Judicial Administration also asserted the immediate need for a unified national level bar and supported the recommendations as suggested by the All India Bar Committee.

It was distinctly in 1961, when the Indian Lawmakers really set the wheel of law moving by ordering the Advocate Act, 1961 to get Reforms Judicial Administration. The new order was to a great extent dependent on the suggestions as given by the All India Bar Committee and the fourteenth Law Commission Report (1958) anyway with a couple of vital adjustments. The new enactment solidified and altered the law identified with Legal Practitioners and revoked the then-existing All India Bar Council Act, 1926 just as Legal Practitioners 1879. One of the most significant just as acknowledged highlights of this order was that it accommodated the foundation and constitution of Bar gatherings for each state close by the foundation of All India Bar Council. This Basically accommodated Bar Council at both National just as state level.

Under the Act of 1961, “Bar Council” has been defined as “a Bar Council Constituted under the Act”. Furthermore, the definition of the “State Bar Council” is contained in Section 2(1)(m) which “means a Bar Council constituted under Section ”. The act defines “Bar Council of India” in Section 2(1)(e) as the “Bar Council constituted under Section 4 for the territories to which this act extends”.

The main objective of the Bar Councils as established under this legislation is to act as a regulatory body so as to ensure certain standards of professional conduct by controlling, regulating, and prescribing bare minimum standards in respect of the same. It also aims to ensure adequate etiquettes and most importantly exercises disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar. It also sets standards for legal education and grants recognition to Universities whose degree in law serves as a qualification for students to enrol themselves as advocates upon graduation.

Additionally, it also performs certain functions in a representative capacity by protecting the rights, privileges, and interests of the advocates and through the creation of funds for providing financial assistance to organize welfare schemes for them.

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