What do Indian States Charge for Bar Enrolment?

17 May 2024  Read 1561 Views

Becoming an advocate from a lawyer in India involves different steps, which include getting a law degree and passing the All India Bar Examination (AIBE). One important step in this journey is enrolling with a State Bar Council of the respective state, which provides a certificate of enrolment to start practising law in the courts. However, the fees for Bar enrolment can vary significantly across different states in India. 

In this blog, we will look at the enrolment fees charged by various State Bar Councils and the procedure for enrolment as a new advocate.

The Advocates Act: For Admission & Enrolment of Advocates in India

The process of becoming an advocate in India is mainly governed by the Advocates Act of 1961. This law outlines the rules and regulations for the legal profession and sets up the steps for becoming a practising advocate.

Under this Act, the Bar Council of India (BCI) and the State Bar Councils manage the admission and enrolment of advocates. The BCI is the main regulatory body for lawyers in India and sets the standards for legal education and professional behaviour. 

Each state has its own State Bar Council, which enrols new advocates within that state.

Eligibility Criteria for State Bar Council Enrolment

The candidate must meet the following criteria to enrol with a state bar council.

  1. Nationality - The applicant must be an Indian national.

  2. Academic requirements - To be eligible for admission, an applicant must possess a law degree from a recognised university. The law degree can be obtained through various ways:

a) Completing a 5-year integrated law course (BA LLB., B.Com. LLB., BBA LLB., etc) after 10+2.

b) Completing a 3-year law course (LLB) after graduation.

c) Completing a law degree from a foreign university recognised by the Bar Council of India.

  1. Age limit—The applicant must be 21 years old. There is no upper age limit to enrol with a state bar council.

Other Conditions: Applicants must meet any other conditions specified by the State Bar Council through their rules.

You should read this blog- How to Become an Advocate in India?

Bar Enrolment Fees Across Indian States

The fees for Bar enrolment are determined by each State Bar Council and can vary widely. Applicants must pay an enrolment fee to both the State Bar Council and the Bar Council of India. 

As per Section 24(1)(f) of the Advocates Act 1961, the prescribed fee for an advocate's enrolment is ₹ 700/- (₹600 for the State Bar Council and ₹150 for the Bar Council of India)

A detailed map of the state-wise fee chargeable by different Bar Councils can be seen here.

These fees typically cover the cost of enrolment fees, welfare schemes, other schemes (death, accidental, retirement or pension funds), application/enrolment form fees, building funds, library funds, issuing an identity card, and other administrative expenses.

Enrolment Fees for Welfare Schemes for Advocates

These welfare schemes ensure that State Bar Councils have a steady flow of funds to support advocates. When individuals enrol with a State Bar Council to practice law, a portion of their total enrolment fee goes to welfare schemes designed to support advocates. 

For example, in Madhya Pradesh, when a law graduate enrols in the State Bar Council of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur, part of their fee goes to the Adhivakta Kalyan Yojna 1989, Advocate Welfare Fund Bar Council of India Jabalpur, Bar Council of India Collection Fund New Delhi. These schemes typically include:

  1. Support in Case of Disability or Death: These schemes often include provisions for financial support in the event of an advocate's permanent disability or death, offering a safety net for their families.

  2. Medical Aid: Welfare funds may also provide financial support for medical treatment, ensuring advocates can afford necessary healthcare services.

  3. Financial Assistance: Many State Bar Councils offer financial aid to advocates facing economic hardship. 

  4. Pension Schemes: Some welfare funds provide pension schemes for senior advocates, helping them maintain financial stability in retirement.

  5. Scholarships and Educational Aid: To support the families of advocates, some welfare schemes offer scholarships and educational assistance for the children of advocates.

Others/ Misc Fees of Enrolment

When enrolling with a State Bar Council, there are additional fees in addition to the main enrolment fee and contributions to welfare schemes. 

These extra fees might include charges for identity cards, registration fees, certificate fees, processing and verification fees, library funds, etc.

What is Sanad?

Sanad is a must for practising as an advocate. Sanad refers to a license that allows law graduates to practice as advocates in India.  

Only obtaining a law degree does not allow a person to practice law directly. As per the Advocates Act, you must enrol yourself with the respective State Bar Council in which you want to practice and the Bar Council of India.

Then only you will get your Sanad with your enrolment number on it. Then, you must clear the AIBE(All India Bar Examination) to get a certificate of practice from the Bar Council of India.

After doing all these procedures you are ready to practice as an advocate.

Note: Upon enrolling in the State Bar Council, you receive a Certificate of Enrolment and an enrolment number (‘provisional' sanad) for practising. After passing the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) within 2 years of getting a Certificate of Enrolment, you obtain a Certificate of Practice (COP) with a registration number, allowing you to practice law in any court in India.

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Joining a State Bar Council is a major step to becoming an advocate in India. This process, guided by the Advocates Act of 1961, makes sure you're ready to start your legal career. 

The fees and rules can differ depending on your state. Knowing how to enrol and what it costs will help you easily transition from a law student to a practising advocate.

About the Author: Anirudh Nikhare | 59 Post(s)

Anirudh did his Bachelor's in Law and has practical experience in IPR, Contracts, and Corporate. He is your go-to legal content writer turning head-scratching legal topics into easy-to-understand gems of wisdom. Through his blog, he aims to empower readers with knowledge, making legal concepts digestible and applicable to everyday life.

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