Since March 2011, with as much as Rs 59 to Rs 70 Cr profit in fees, the Bar Council of India (BCI) has managed to earn from almost 3 Lakh applicants. In the past 6 years, approximately 2.9 lakh applicants have appeared for the All India Bar Examination (AIBE), reports Legally India.
The drastic difference between the 1st bar exam’s registration fee and its 10th edition is 169%. The available facilities for the exam such as study materials, responses of the AIBE helpline, well-timed results have deeply reduced in the past six years. To make it worse, the last five editions also faced no lessening in the retake exam fees of Rs 2,560. In Feb 2017, BCI raised bar exam fees by another 40%, bringing it upto to Rs 3,500.
Going back to the earlier reports, the registration fee was 1,300 INR in 2010 which was hiked straight to 2,500 INR with extra 60 INR bank charges in 2012. Later with the new contractor’s selection, the fee stands as 3,500 INR. With the advent of AIBE, the fee has been increased threefold. The hike faced in AIBE IV exam was 50%. After 2 years, the 2nd hike in fee was by 31.2% during AIBE VI. Just before AIBE X exam took place, the last hike was 40%.
The concession was provided to repeaters in the first 5 editions i.e. the retake fee was lesser than half of the fresh registration fee for AIBE II, whereas it was raised somewhat to 900 INR for AIBE III. Later on, it charged 1400 INR for the next 3 exams.
With an approximation income statistics, the following table reveals the higher value has been calculated upon the assumption of each new registration fee and the lesser value has been calculated upon each charged retake fee from ST/ SC category member. AIBE did not provide any concession to repeat exam.
Although, since the 1st edition of exam till now, there has been a threefold increased number of appearing applicants, there also has been a threefold growth in the registration fee.
Mohit Gupta, a DU LLB student had filed a Right to Information (RTI) request on 27th March 2017 seeking valid reasons for the new rise in fee structure by 40% from this year.
The request stated, “Provide the minutes of the meetings convened for and the reasons behind increasing the fee for the tenth edition of the All India Bar Examination AIBE X to Rs 3500 for general category candidates and Rs 2500 for SC/ST candidates. Provide records/memos/opinions/orders/reports regarding the same”
The ministry responded on 27 June, stating, “Fee for 10th All India Bar Examination was increased vide resolution passed by Executive Committee in its meeting held on 13.11.2016 which was subsequently approved by the general body of Bar Council of India and reason behind such increase is not an information rather an explanation hence it cannot be provided”
There has been a varied ranging gap between the operating process of the bar exams i.e. AIBE II was held more than 4 months after the AIBE I, AIBE V was held more than 9 months, and AIBE VIII was held more than 8 months. On the official website, the BCI issued the ratio of the applicants who had passed the 1st three exams: 75%, 69%, and 63% respectively.
For a fresh graduate to get enrolled with the Bar council (Delhi) and then with the local bar association, cost comes somewhere around Rs 15-20 thousand, and this is even more than what most litigators pay their Juniors now a days.