Kochi, June 17 () The Kerala High Court has directed the Bar Council of Kerala (BCK) to collect only Rs 750 as enrollment fees from law graduates who wish to enroll as advocates.
A division bench said this norm would hold good till the Bar Council of India (BCI) lays down a uniform structure applicable to all State Bar Councils.
Incidentally in February, a single-judge of the Court had passed an interim order directing the BCK to provisionally accept enrollment applications by the law graduates upon payment of Rs 750.
But then the benefit of that order was limited only to the petitioners in the case who had challenged the BCK’s decision to collect Rs 15,900 as enrollment fees.
The fresh order has come when the BCK filed an appeal against the interim order which read, “…to a pointed query from the Court, learned senior counsel appearing for the Bar Council of Kerala has stated that so far as the petitioners are concerned by accepting Rs750/- enrollment fee, the enrolment of respective petitioners has been completed. In the fitness of things in the exercise of our jurisdiction, by according to the petitioners herein, the representative status to agitate the grievance for and on behalf of similarly situated graduates, who would be interested in getting enrolled on the rolls of the Bar Council of Kerala, we extend the same benefit to such of the aspirants as well. Such a course would avoid a series of individual cases by the aspirants” the Court stated.
The single judge’s order had come on a plea moved by ten law graduates of the 2019-22 batch from the Government Law College, Ernakulam challenging the fee of Rs 15,900 that the BCK was charging.
The fresh order now extended the benefit of the interim order to all law graduates.