BCI Creating Entry Barriers For Disabled Lawyers: Says Blind AIBE Candidate; Seeks Proper Implementation Of 2018 PwD Guidelines

BCI Creating Entry Barriers For Disabled Lawyers: Says Blind AIBE Candidate; Seeks Proper Implementation Of 2018 PwD Guidelines

What is Bar Council of India?

• Bar Council of India is a statutory body which was established under the section 4 of Advocates Act,1961.
• It is a regulatory body which regulates the legal practice and legal edition in India.
• Main aim of the council is to provide legal aid to the poor. Maintains the funds etc.
• The Bar Council sets the standards for the professional conduct, etiquettes and exercises the disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar.
• It also establishes standards for the legal education in the country and grants recognition to the country. 

What is All India Bar Examination? 

•  It is a test conducted by the Bar Council of India. Bar Council resolved to conduct this examination in the year 2010 on April 10.
•  The exam is conducted to test the ability of the advocate to practice law. 
•  It is conducted to test the advocates on substantive as well as procedural law. It is essential for the lawyers to pass this exam to practice law.
•  The number of the attempts to pass this examination aren’t limited.
• It is classified that students from the batch of 2009-2010 and onwards have to compulsorily give this examination to become a practicing lawyer. 

What are the guidelines for conducting written examination for the persons with benchmark disabilities?

• The facility of Scribe/Reader/Lab Assistant should be allowed to any person with benchmark disability as defined under section 2(r) of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, i.e. not less than 40% of a specified disability, and has limitation in writing including that of speed if so desired by him or her

• The candidate should have the discretion for opting for his/her scribe/reader/ lab assistant or request the Examination body for the same.

• In case the candidate is allowed to bring his or her scribe, the qualification of the scribe should be “one step below” the qualification of the candidate taking examination 

•  Compensatory time of not be less than 20 minutes per hour of examination should be allowed for persons who are allowed to use the scribe/ reader/ lab assistant 

• As far as possible the, the examining body should also provide reading material in Braille or E-Texts or on computer having suitable screen reading software for OBE

What are the hinderances created by BCI for disabled candidates?

•  The council is denying the reasonable accommodations for the upcoming All India Bar Examination asked by the candidate who has a permanent physical disability.

• The candidate asked for a scribe, extra 20 mins per hour and a laptop, since it is an OBE. All his needs are allowed under the guidelines provided by the government for the persons with benchmark disabilities in the year 2018.

• But to the utter shock of the candidate, the authorities in the first instance repudiated all this demands, despite the demands being explicitly under the ambit of the guidelines provided in the year 2018. 

• Later, after a lot of perusal from the side of the candidate, the Council allowed him to carry a laptop and have but with a condition of no internet connection and the scribe with the qualification of 12th pass.

What do you think about the policies of BCI and there actions in the current scenario? Let us know in the comment section below!

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