1) Introduction : 

    Chapter II of Advocates Act 1961 deals with the State Bar Councils and the Bar Councils and the Bar Councils of India.


2) Constitution / organization / Composition of Bar Council of India : 

       Section 4 (1) of the Advocate Act 1961 provides that there shall be a Bar Council for the territories to which this Act extends to be known as the Bar Council of India which shall consist of the following members, namely —

          (a) the Attorney-General of India, ex officio;

         (b) the Solicitor-General of India, ex officio;

         (c) one member elected by each State Bar Council from amongst its members.

Section 4(1-A) No person shall be eligible for being elected as a member of the Bar Council of India unless he possesses the qualifications specified in the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Advocates  Act.
 Section 4(2) of the said Act provides that there shall be a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman of the Bar Council of India elected by the Council in such manner as may be prescribed.

Section 4 (2-A) makes it clear that a person holding office as Chairman or as Vice-Chairman of the Bar Council of India immediately before the commencement of the Advocates (Amendment) Act, 1977 , shall, on such commencement, cease to hold office as Chairman or Vice- Chairman, as the case may be:

     Provided that such person shall continue to carry on the duties of his office until the Chairman or the Vice-Chairman, as the case may be, of the Council, elected after the commencement of the Advocates (Amendments) Act, 1977, assumes charge of the office.

 The term of office : 
 
           The term of office of a member of the Bar Council of India elected by the State Bar Council shall —

                (i) in the case of a member of a State Bar Council who holds office ex-officio, be two years from the date of his election or till he ceases to be a member of the State Bar Council, whichever is earlier, and

               (ii) in any other case, be for the period for which he holds office as a member of the State Bar Council:

    Provided that every such member shall continue to hold office as a member of the Bar Council of India until his successor is elected.


3) Bar Council to be body corporate (Section 5) 

        Every Bar Council shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal, with power to acquire and hold property, both moveable and immovable, and to contract, and may by the name by which it is known sue and be sued


4) Functions of Bar Council of India

 Section 7 of the Advocates Act, 1961 provides that the functions of the Bar Council of India shall be —

        (i) to lay down standards of professional conduct and etiquette for advocates;

        (ii) to lay down the procedure to be followed by its disciplinary committee and the disciplinary committee of each State Bar Council;

        (iii) to safeguard the rights, privileges and interests of advocates;

        (iv) to promote and support law reform;

        (v) to deal with and dispose of any matter arising under this Act, which may be referred to it by a State Bar Council;

       (vi) to exercise general supervision and control over State Bar Councils;

        (vii) to promote legal education and to lay down standards of such education in consultation with the Universities in India imparting such education and the State Bar Councils;

        (viii) to recognize Universities whose degree in law shall be a qualification for enrollment as an advocate and for that purpose to visit and inspect Universities or cause the State Bar Councils to visit and inspect Universities in accordance with such directions as it may give in this behalf;

      (ix) to conduct seminars and organize talks on legal topics by eminent jurists and publish journals and papers of legal interest;

       (x) to organize legal aid to the poor in the prescribed manner;

      (xi) to recognize on a reciprocal basis foreign qualifications in law obtained outside India for the purpose of admission as an advocate under this Act;

     (xii) to manage and invest the funds of the Bar Council;

    (xiii) to provide for the election of its members;

    (xiv) to perform all other functions conferred on it by or under this Act.

    (xv) to do all other things necessary for discharging the aforesaid functions;

 (2) The Bar Council of India may constitute one or more funds in the prescribed manner for the purpose of —

     (a) giving financial assistance to organize welfare schemes for indigents, disabled or other advocates;

     (b) giving legal aid or advice in accordance with the rules made in this behalf;

     (c) establishing law libraries.

(3) The Bar Council of India may receive any grants, donations, gifts or benefactions for all or any of the purposes specified in sub-section (2) which shall be credited to the appropriate fund or funds constituted under that sub-section.


See also 

1) Powers of State Bar Council

2) Who constitutes Bench and who constitutes Bar? Are there functions and objects different ?

3) What are the duties of an advocate towards his colleagues and opponent ?

4) Development of Legal Profession In India

5) Duties of an Advocate

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