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INDIAN BAR COUNCILS ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 38 of 1926


  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II
  • Chapter III
  • Schedules
  • Act nº 38 of 1926

Preamble

INDIAN BAR COUNCILS ACT, 1926

[Act, No. 38 of 1926]

[9th September, 1926]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the constitution of Bar Councils and for other purposes.

WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for the constitution and incorporation of Bar Councils for certain Courts to confer powers and impose duties on such Bar Councils, and to consolidate and amend the law relating to legal practioners entitled to practice in such Courts.

It is hereby enacted as follows:

Chapter I

Section 1. Short title, extent and application

(1) This Act may be called the Indian Bar Councils Act, 1926.

1[(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and shall apply to the High Court of2[every State] other than the State of Jammu and Kashmir and also to such Judicial Commissioners Courts in Union territories as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare to be High Courts to which this Act applies.]

1. Substituted by Act 3 of 1951.

2. Substituted by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 2) Order, 1956, for "every Part A State and of every Part BState".


Section 2. Interpretation

(1) In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context, --

(a) "advocate" means an advocate entered in the roll of advocates of a High Court under the provisions of this Act;

(b) "Advocate-General" includes, where there is no Advocate General, the Government Advocate and, where there is no Advocate General or Government Advocate, such officer as the State Government may declare to be the Advocate General for the purposes of this Act;

(c) "High Court" means a High Court to which this Act applies; and

(d) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act.

(2) In this Act "the State Government" means, in relation to any High Court, the State Government of the State in which the High Court has its principal seat.

Section 3. Constitution and incorporation of Bar Councils

(1) For every High Court a Bar Council shall be constituted in the manner hereinafter provided.

(2) Every Bar Council so constituted shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire and hold property, both movable and immovable, and to contract, and shall by the name of the Bar Council of the High Court for which it has been constituted sue and be sued.

Section 4. Composition of Bar Councils

(1) Every Bar Council shall consist of fifteen members, of whom--

(a) one shall be the Advocate General;

(b) four shall be persons nominated by the High Court, of whom not more than two may be Judges of that Court; and

(c) ten shall be elected by the advocates of the High Court from amongst their number.

(2) Of the elected members of every Bar Council not less than five shall be persons who have for not less than ten years been entitled as of right to practise in the High Court for which the Bar Council has been constituted.

1[Explanation. --For the purpose of election to the Bar Council for the High Court of Gujarat, the period of ten years aforesaid shall be computed after taking into account the period for which the person concerned was entitled as of right to practise in the High Court of Bombay or of Saurashtra or in the Judicial Commissioner's Court of Kutch before the 1st day of May, 1960.]

(3) Of the elected members of the Bar Councils to be constituted for the High Courts of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal and at Bombay such proportion as the High Court may direct in each case shall be persons who have, for such minimum period as the High Court may determine, been entitled to practise in the High Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, and such number as may be fixed by the High Court out of the said proportion shall be barristers of England or Ireland or members of the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland.

(4) There shall be a Chairman and Vice-Chairman of each Bar Council elected by the Council in such manner as may be prescribed:

PROVIDED that the Advocates-General of West Bengal, Madras Maharashtra and Gujarat shall be Chairmen ex officio, respectively, of the Bar Councils constituted for the High Courts of those States.

1 . Inserted by Act 11 of 1960.


Section 5. Special provisions regarding constitution of first Bar Councils

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 4, the elected members of the first Bar Council constituted under this Act for any High Court shall be elected by and from amongst the advocates, vakils and pleaders who are on the date of the election entitled as of right to practise in the High Court.

(2) The terms of office of the nominated and elected members of any such first Bar Council shall be three years from the date of the first meeting of the Council.

Section 5A. Ad hoc Bar Council for Gujarat High Court

Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the Chief Justice of the High Court of Gujarat shall nominate the members of the first Bar Council under this Act for the High Court of Gujarat and the members so nominated shall remain in office for a period of twelve months.

Section 6. Power to make rules regarding constitution and procedure of Bar Councils

(1) Rules, consistent with this Act, may be made to provide for the following matters, namely: --

(a) the manner in which elections of members of the Bar Council shall be held; the method of determining, in accordance with the provisions of sub-sections (2) and (3) of section 4, the candidates who shall be declared to have been elected; the manner in which the result of elections shall be published; and the manner in which and the authority by which doubts and disputes as to the validity of an election shall be finally decided;

(b) the terms of office of nominated and elected members of the Council;

(c) the filling of casual vacancies in the Council;

(d) the convening of meetings of the Council, and the quorum necessary for the transaction of business thereat;

(e) the manner of election and the respective terms of office of the Chairman, in cases where the Chairman is to be elected, and of the Vice-Chairman; and

(f) any matter incidental or ancillary to any of the foregoing matters.

(2) The first rules under this section shall be made by the High Court, but the Bar Council may thereafter, with the previous sanction of the High Court, add to, amend or rescind any rules so made.

(3) No election of a member or members to the Council shall be called in question on the ground that due notice thereof has not been given to any person entitled to vote thereat, if notice of the date fixed for the election has, not less than thirty days before that date, been published in the Official Gazette of the State, or of each State, as the case may be, in which the High Court exercises jurisdiction.

(4) Rules made under clause (b) of sub-section (1) may provide for the retirement of members from office by rotation and for the manner in which the order of such retirement shall be determined.

Section 7. Power of Bar Council to make bye-laws

The Bar Council may make bye-laws consistent with this Act and any rules made there under to provide for any of the following matters, namely: --

(a) the appointment of such ministerial officers and servants as the Bar Council may deem necessary, and the pay and allowances and other conditions of service of such officers and servants; and

(b) the appointment and constitution of Committees of the Council, the procedure of such Committees, and the determination of the powers or duties of the Council which may be delegated to such Committees.

Section 8. Enrolment of advocates

(1) No person shall be entitled as of right to practise in any High Court, unless his name is entered in the roll of the advocates of the High Court maintained under this Act:

PROVIDED that nothing in this sub-section shall apply to any attorney of the High Court.

(2) The High Court shall prepare and maintain a roll of advocates of the High Court in which shall be entered the names of--

(a) all persons who were, as advocates, vakils or pleaders, entitles as of right to practise in the High Court immediately before the date on which this section comes into force in respect thereof; and

(b) all other persons who have been admitted to be advocates of the High Court under this Act: Provided that such persons shall have paid in respect of enrolment the stamp-duty, if any, chargeable under the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (2 of 1899), and a fee, payable to the Bar Council, which shall be ten rupees in the case of the persons referred to in clause (a), and in other cases such amount as may be prescribed.

(3) Entries in the roll shall be made in the order of seniority, and such seniority shall be determined as follows, namely: --

(a) all such persons as are referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (2) shall be entered first in the order in which they were respectively entitled to seniority inter se immediately before the date on which this section comes into force in respect of the High Court; and

(b) the seniority of any other person admitted to be an advocate of the High Court under this Act after that date shall be determined by the date of his admission or, if he is a barrister, by the date of his admission or the date on which he was called to the Bar, whichever date is earlier: Provided that, for the purposes of clause (b), the seniority of a person who before his admission to be an advocate was entitled as of right to practise in another High Court shall be determined by the date on which he became so entitled.

(4) The respective rights of pre-audience of advocates of the High Court shall be determined by seniority:

PROVIDED that the Advocate-General shall have pre-audience overall other advocates.

(5) The High Court shall issue a certificate of enrolment to every person enrolled under this section.

(6) The High Court shall send to the Bar Council a copy of the roll as prepared under this section, and shall thereafter communicate to the Bar Council all alterations in, and additions to, the roll as soon as the same have been made.

(7) The Bar Council shall enter in the copy of the roll all alterations and additions so communicated to it.

Section 9. Qualifications and admission of advocates

(1) The Bar Council may, with the previous sanction of the High Court, make rules to regulate the admission of persons to be advocates of the High Court:

PROVIDED that such rules shall not limit or in any way affect the power of the High Court to refuse admission to any person at its discretion.

(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules shall provide for the following matters, namely: --

(a) the qualifications to be possessed by persons applying for admission as advocates;

(b) the form and manner in which applications shall be made to the High Court for admission;

(c) the giving of notice by the High Court to the Bar Council of all such applications;

(d) the hearing by the High Court of any objection preferred on behalf of the Bar Council to the admission of any applicant; and

(e) the charging of fees payable to the Bar Council in respect of enrolment.

(3) Rules made under this section shall provide that no woman shall be disqualified for admission to be an advocate by reason only of her sex.

(4) Nothing in this section or in any other provision of this Act shall be deemed to limit or in any way affect the powers of the High Courts of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal and at Bombay to prescribe the qualifications to be possessed by persons applying to practise in those High Courts respectively in the exercise of their original jurisdiction or the powers of those High Courts to grant or refuse, as they think fit, any such applications or to prescribe the conditions under which such person shall be entitled to practise or plead.

Chapter II

Section 10. Punishment of advocate for misconduct [Repealed]

1[***]

1. Repealed by the Advocates Act, 1961 (Act 25 of 1961)w.e.f. 01.09.1963.


Section 11. Tribunal of Bar Council [Repealed]

1[***]

1. Repealed by the Advocates Act, 1961 (Act 25 of 1961)w.e.f. 01.09.1963.