AIBE Certificate of Practice (CoP) is awarded to advocates who successfully clear the All India Bar Examination (AIBE). AIBE is a national-level exam that is conducted to check the capability of candidates willing to practice law in India. The authority to conduct the AIBE exam is with the Bar Council of India. Candidates can get a soft copy of their Certificate of Practice (CoP) from the official AIBE app – AIBESCOPE, available for Android and iOS phones. The Certificate of Practice mentions important details such as the name of the candidate, enrollment number, enrollment date, and other related information.
The AIBE exam is conducted in 11 languages and the appearing candidate needs to select only one language as per their preference. Lawyers need to fill AIBE examination form to get a Certificate of Practice (CoP) from the Bar Council of India.
Purpose of AIBE Certificate of Practice for advocates
The primary purpose of issuing a certificate of practice to advocates is to:
- Ensure that non-practicing advocates or advocates shifting to another profession or business are shifted to the list of non-practicing advocates.
- Get control of State Bar Councils as well as other elected bodies under the Advocates Act.
- Have direct communication and contact with the practicing advocates.
- Also to ensure that all candidates who have enrolled after 2010 appear in the All India Bar Examination (AIBE).
- Ensuring that all the benefits offered to the advocates are enjoyed by only practicing advocates.
Who can apply for a Certificate of Practice?
The certificate of practice rules is applicable to advocates whose names appear on the list of State Bar Councils. The following persons are excluded from the rules:
- Advocates who had enrolled but whose name has been transferred to the list of non-practicing advocates.
- Advocates on record (Supreme Court practicing advocates).
- Senior advocates.
Benefits of AIBE Exam
The Bar Council of India (BCI) conducts the AIBE examination to check the analytical and logical skills of the candidates along with some understanding of the law. Some of the benefits of AIBE are:
- The AIBE exam evaluates the candidate’s knowledge and skills that are required for admission to the practice of law.
- This exam also checks the logical abilities and knowledge of the law of the candidate.
- The applicant after clearing the exam successfully gets the ‘Certificate of Practice’ from the Bar Council of India.
- Applicants can appear for the bar exam in their location as it is conducted in 40 cities in India.
- Also, the candidates can select the language they are comfortable with as it is conducted in 11 languages.
- BCI also allows candidates to take bare acts which is a big help for candidates.
- The BCI has prescribed no age limit to clear the exam.
- There is no limit on the number of attempts. If the candidate fails to clear the AIBE exam they can appear for the exam till the time they clear it.
- The AIBE exam is conducted twice a year.
- The passing marks are very less like in 2021 the passing marks for general candidates was 38 marks and for sc/st it was 33 marks.
Apply for the AIBE Exam
Candidates to apply for the AIBE examination must follow the following:
- Candidates must have a qualified bachelor’s degree in law either BA LLB or LLB programme.
- The law degree must be from an Indian institute recognized by the Bar Council of India (BCI).
- Candidates must be an Indian citizen.
- Most importantly the candidate should be successfully enrolled with the State Bar Council in India and should have an ‘Advocate ID card’ and ‘ Enrollment Certificate’ (that is issued by any State Bar Council).
- Candidates should appear within 2 years from the date of getting enrolled with the State Bar Council. The enrollment with the State Bar Council is just a provision enrollment and failure to appear for the exam will lead to cancellation of provisional enrollment. The candidates then again need to enroll with the State Bar Council as the enrollment will stand canceled for non-appearance of the exam.
How can advocates get a ‘Certificate of Practice’?
Candidates to get a ‘Certificate of Practice must follow the below-mentioned steps:
- First of all, enroll with the State Bar Council (explained below).
- Apply online for the AIBE examination (process explained below).
- Appear for the AIBE examination.
- Get the cut-off scores for the AIBE exam.
- Download the Certificate of Practice from the Bar Council of India website.
- The candidates will be sent information by registered post stating that their name is enrolled in the Bar Council of India. They can then visit their respective State Bar Council to receive the Certificate of Practice (CoP).
How to Enroll with the State Bar Council?
To enroll with the State Bar Council you need to purchase the form from your respective State Bar Council. First, pay the form fees with the receipt of paid fees. The procedure to enroll with the State Bar Council is:
- Candidates after getting the required form must submit it along with the required documents.
- They must also pay the specified enrollment fees that include separate funds.
Some of the documents required for enrolling in the State Bar Council are:
- Law Graduation Passing Certificate
- Law examination mark sheets for all semesters
- If there is any gap in the regular education some undertakings should be given to candidates.
- Passport-size photographs advocate dress code.
- Demand drafts one for the State Bar Council and the other for the BCI.
Some of the requirements vary from state to state – some states ask for self-attested documents for candidates whereas some accept documents without self-attestation.
Consequences of not Having Certificate of Practice
An advocate with no certificate of practice shall be considered a non-practicing advocate :
- Not appear in any court of law or tribunal or hearing for any legal purpose.
- Not be a member of the bar association.
- Cannot cast their votes in any elections of the bar associations.
- Cannot participate and receive benefits under the welfare schemes of advocates.
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