Whether any study done regarding number of lawyers needed, asks SC


PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 27-09-2022 19:34 IST | Created: 27-09-2022 19:34 IST
Whether any study done regarding number of lawyers needed, asks SC
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New Delhi, Sep 27 (PTI) Whether any study has been done regarding the number of lawyers needed in the country, asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday while advocating that some study needs to be done, maybe by the Bar Council of India (BCI).

The study will help to see what is the strength of lawyers which is required optimally looking into the pendency and the number of cases the courts can take up across the country, the apex court said.

''How many lawyers does the country need?'' the bench observed, adding that a lot of advocates are without any substantial work. ''Are we producing too many lawyers? Are we producing less lawyers? Some study needs to be done, maybe by the Bar Council or some authority to see that looking to the pendency….looking to how many cases the court is able to take up across the country, what is the strength of lawyers there should be optimally,'' said a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice S K Kaul.

The bench, also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, A S Oka, Vikram Nath, and J K Maheshwari, was considering questions, including whether a pre-enrollment examination can be prescribed by the BCI under the Advocates Act, 1961, which were referred to a five-judge bench.

When the issue regarding the income of lawyers, especially in rural or district or Taluka level cropped up during the hearing, the bench observed that such a study would possibly help the Bar Council in determining the level of examination also.

''So, ideally, if work was reasonably done, how many lawyers do you need to assist the system,'' the top court observed.

''Is it required to have so lenient examination? Is it better to have a little more tailored examination where the difficulty level is slightly more? It will be assisted by this data which you may have,'' it said. Attorney General K K Venugopal, who was earlier asked by the apex court to assist it as an amicus in the matter before he became the top law officer of the country, said he finds that consistently, Acts after Acts which have been passed or committees which have gone into this matter, the Law Commission report, says that examination is necessary.

Venugopal also referred to how recognition of several law colleges was earlier withdrawn overnight.

He said it was done because these colleges were sub-standard.

Venugopal said a minimum uniform standard has to be maintained by the law schools.

The hearing in the matter would continue on Wednesday.

The apex court in March 2016 observed that one of the questions that have been raised for determination was whether the BCI is competent to prescribe an examination post-enrollment of an advocate as a condition of eligibility for his continuing to practice at the Bar.

''An incident question that arises is whether pre-enrolment training in terms of the Bar Council Training Rules, 1995 framed under section 24(3)(d) of the Advocates Act, 1961 is within the competence of the Bar Council of India and whether the decision of this court in Sudeer vs Bar Council of India & Anr…..holding pre-enrolment training to be beyond the competence of the Bar Council needs reconsideration,'' it had noted in its March 2016 order.

The apex court had said that the questions that fall for determination are of considerable importance affecting the legal profession in general and need to be authoritatively answered by a Constitution bench.

It referred to three questions, including whether pre-enrolment training in terms of Bar Council of India Training Rules, 1995 framed under section 24(3)(d) of the Advocates Act, 1961, could be validly prescribed by the BCI and if so whether the decision in Sudeer vs Bar Council of India & Anr requires reconsideration, for consideration by a five-judge bench.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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