One of the most respectable profession in the country of India is that of legal profession. But harder as it may sound there is an urgent need to revamp the entire legal education and the profession of advocacy to bring it on par with the other respectable professions in the country. In its endeavour to do the same the Supreme Court on Wednesday embarked on one of the most arduous of journeys of initiating long overdue reforms in the legal education and the profession of advocacy to bring the LLB on par with MBBS and B.Tech.
A bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice UU Lalit said,” The system is crying for reforms and we must do something.” According to the CJI there is a general perception that the students opt for LLB only when they are not able to get admission in other professional courses. He added,” If students do not get into MBBS or B.Tech courses, they join LLB. Legal profession should not be a free for all profession. So, it needs to be reformed.”
In the opinion of the bench any addition to the legal professionals should be talented and of good quality. The CJI said,” Administration of justice is as important as the profession of a doctor. If one is not permitted to become a half-baked doctor, you can also not become a half-baked lawyer.” Although the statutory force behind the Bar Council of India’s decision to hold All India Bar Examination was questioned by the bench it said that it was not against the screening test as there was a need to sieve out the non-serious candidates from entering the profession. The bench said,” Let the AIBE go on as scheduled. We are not averse to the examination to screen those entering the profession of advocacy. We want to strengthen it. The filtering mechanism needs to be strengthened so that the profession is not open to one and all.” It further added,” Every year, 60,000 more join the profession, of which 2,000 odd are from National Law Schools.” The court was questioning BCI counsel Ardhendumauli Prasad about the statutory force behind the regulatory body’s decision to hold AIBE. It is mandatory for a law graduate to clear the AIBE within two years of enrolling as an advocate to be able to continue practicing in court.
The matter was referred to a three-judge bench for evolving criteria to weed out non-serious lawyers from entering the profession. According to the CJI,” In Jammu and Kashmir, there was a sound system where a law graduate enrols as a pleader and practices for two years. After that he gets enrolled as a ‘vakil’ and practices on the original side of the high court for three years. But now a fresh law graduate can come straight to the apex court and argue cases. We ask them questions and they do not appear to know much about the practice and rules.” The matter has been posted for further hearing before a three-judge bench on Friday.