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In India one needs to clear the Bar Examinations to be eligible to practice law. An aspiring candidate must first clear their board exams, i.e., 10+2. Following this they have the option to either pursue an undergraduate 5 years integrated programme or the 3 years Bachelors of Law post-graduation programme from any university or college recognized by the Bar Council of India. LL.B. is the minimum qualification mandate to practice as a lawyer.
Once the candidate has obtained the requisite LL.B. degree from their institution, they must register themselves with their State Bar Council under Section 24 (1) (f) of Advocates Act, 1961. Post application and enrolment with the State Bar Council, the candidate will receive a provisional having a validity for 6 months to practice law in India. Following enrolment with the State Bar Council, the candidate has to apply for All India Bar Examination (AIBE) within two years. AIBE is a national level exam conducted by the Bar Council of India. The examination is used to judge an advocate’s aptitude to practice the profession of law within the country.
Only candidates who successfully qualify and clear the examination of AIBE are awarded with a “Certificate of Practice” enabling them to practice law. The Bar Council of India passes the result of candidates to their respective State Bar Council. If the candidate has been successful, the State Bar Council makes their provisional license a final license. This license must be renewed every five years. It must be noted that appearing for the AIBE exam is only mandatory for candidates who have obtained their law degrees during or post 2010 and any advocate who graduated in the year 2009 or before is exempted from taking AIBE to practice law.
The Bar Council of India conducts the AIBE twice a year. The exam has no age limit. The candidates are given three and a half hours to complete the exam. The candidate has a choice to appear for the exam in any one of the 11 languages offered. The paper has a total of 100 objective questions ranging from 19 subjects, namely, Constitutional Law, the Indian Penal Code,
A candidate of the AIBE exams may appear for the said examinations how many ever times they wish to. There is no restriction on numbers of attempts which a candidate must adhere to. The AIBE was initially an open book examination however, post 2021, candidates are only permitted to carry and use Bare Acts without any notes inside the test center. Candidates of General category or Other Backward Class (OBC) category are required to score a minimum of 40 per cent aggregate to clear the AIBE. Candidates of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) category have to obtain 35 per cent aggregate to clear the AIBE.
A candidate must strictly adhere to the eligibility rules set forth by the Bar Council of India for appearing for AIBE. If any candidate is shown to be ineligible in later stages, their candidature will be cancelled and they will not be allowed to appear for the exams. The application fee is non-refundable under any circumstance. After fulfilling all the requirements set forth, the candidate attains the status of a practising lawyer in India.
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