On Friday, the Delhi High Court asked the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) whether it has any procedure in place for online mode of enrollment of law graduates during the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
The query was posed by Justice Navin Chawla while issuing notice to the BCD and Bar Council of India (BCI) on a plea by four law graduates who are seeking online mode of enrollment as all of them hail from Bihar and cannot come to Delhi for attending the physical process of enrollment.
The law graduates – Abhishek Anand, Gaurav Kumar, Priya Ranjan and Anurag Yadav – told the court that without getting enrolled they would not be able to sit in the All India Bar Exam for which applications have to be submitted by December 19.
They also told the court that Bar Councils of several other states – like Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh – started online enrollment of law graduates in August-September this year.
They also said that in a similar plea filed in August this year, the BCD had told the high court in September that certain steps were being taken to address the issue of online or electronic mode of enrollment.
However, till date no steps have been taken by BCD, they claimed and added that representations sent by them have also not elicited any response from the lawyers’ body.
Apart from seeking online enrollment, the petitioners have also sought directions to BCD to exempt them from filing rent agreement or proof residence till normalcy is restored.
Their plea also seeks a declaration from the court that the requirement of rent agreement/ proof of residence as one of the conditions precedent for enrolment in BCD was “illegal and unconstitutional”.