NLIU Student Challenges Enrolment Fees, Delhi HC Issues Notice

Delhi HC issues notice in WP filed by NLIU student challenging enrolment and other fees levied by Bar Council of Delhi and the Bar Council of India.

The Delhi HC has issued a notice in a writ petition challenging the vires of the additional enrolment fee prescribed by the Bar Council of Delhi towards enrolment.

The petitioner Ankit Gupta, a final year student at NLIU Bhopal argued in-person and submitted that the additional enrolment fee of Rs. 8350 (excluding Rs.1000 for enrolment form) as prescribed by the Bar Council of Delhi is violative of Section 24(1)(f) of the Advocates Act, 1961.

Section 24(1)(f) of the Advocates Act, 1961 provides that for being admitted as an advocate, a person has to pay six hundred rupees to the State Bar Council and one hundred and fifty rupees to the Bar Council of India.

Further, in case of a member of the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes, the enrolment fee payable by him to the State Bar Council is one hundred rupees and twenty-five rupees to the Bar Council of India.

He also submitted that the circulation fee levied by the Bar Council of Delhi to expedite the process of enrolment is also ultra vires the substantive provision of Advocates Act, 1961 viz. Section 24(1)(f). He further challenged the vires of the levy of fees towards transfer of name of an advocate from one state roll to another.

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He submitted that Section 18 of the Advocates Act, 1961 is crystal clear that transfer of name from one state roll to another is to be done without payment of any fee. However, the Bar Council of India charges Rs. 2000 as process fee and similarly Bar Council of Delhi charges Rs. 1000 towards granting NOC for such transfer.

Therefore, an advocate ends up paying Rs. 3000 for such transfer which is totally ultra vires Section 18 of the Advocates Act, 1961.

Justice Navin Chawla while issuing notice posted the matter for 13th May 2020

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