The Mockery of Law by Lawyers: Unconstitutional, Arbitrary, and Illogical New Enrollment Rule by Bar Council of Delhi - The Red Carpet


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Saturday, June 3, 2023

The Mockery of Law by Lawyers: Unconstitutional, Arbitrary, and Illogical New Enrollment Rule by Bar Council of Delhi

Bar Council of Delhi Enrollment 2021

The legal profession is built upon the principles of justice, fairness, and upholding the rule of law. Lawyers are entrusted with the responsibility of defending justice, advocating for the rights of individuals, and ensuring a fair and impartial legal system. However, when the very institution responsible for regulating the legal profession introduces rules that undermine these principles, it becomes a mockery of the law. The recent enrollment rule imposed by the Bar Council of Delhi is a stark example of such a mockery, as I argue it is unconstitutional, arbitrary, and illogical.

Making a mockery of law:

Introducing the new enrollment rule by the Bar Council of Delhi exemplifies the unfair enjoyment of power and highlights a mockery of the law. Instead of upholding the principles of justice, fairness, and equality, the Bar Council of Delhi has imposed an arbitrary, unconstitutional, and illogical rule. This rule reflects a disregard for the rights and aspirations of aspiring advocates who wish to practice law in Delhi but do not possess a Delhi-NCR address.

By implementing such a rule, the Bar Council of Delhi is abusing its position of authority and creating a sense of elitism within the legal profession. It effectively excludes talented and deserving law graduates from across the country who may have excelled in their studies and possess a genuine passion for practicing law in Delhi. This exclusionary approach not only undermines the principles of equal opportunity and meritocracy but also perpetuates a system that favors those with privileged backgrounds or specific geographic locations.

In a democratic society governed by the rule of law, it is essential for legal bodies such as the Bar Council of Delhi to act as custodians of justice and uphold the constitutional rights of citizens. However, introducing this new enrollment rule violates the fundamental rights of aspiring advocates and sets a dangerous precedent for arbitrary decision-making within the legal profession. It erodes public trust and confidence in the legal system, giving the impression that personal biases and preferences hold more weight than principles of justice and equality.

The role of the Bar Council is not merely to regulate the legal profession but also to ensure that the practice of law is accessible to all deserving individuals based on their qualifications and competence. However, the new enrollment rule introduced by the Bar Council of Delhi has lost sight of this objective. Instead, it perpetuates an unfair and exclusionary system that hinders the aspirations and dreams of law graduates from diverse backgrounds.


The new enrollment rule enforced by the Bar Council of Delhi, which mandates the inclusion of a Delhi-NCR address in the Aadhaar card and voter ID, raises serious constitutional concerns. It infringes upon the fundamental right to practice any profession of one's choice, as enshrined in Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution.

Article 19(1)(g) guarantees the right to practice any profession, occupation, or trade, and this right also extends to aspiring lawyers. By imposing a mandatory Delhi-NCR address as a prerequisite for enrollment, the Bar Council of Delhi is imposing an arbitrary restriction that undermines this fundamental right. Arbitrary geographic boundaries should not hinder the right to choose one's place of residence and practice.

The Constitution of India was carefully crafted to protect individual rights and freedoms. It upholds the principles of equality, non-discrimination, and the right to pursue one's chosen profession without undue restrictions. Any rule or regulation impinges upon these principles must be closely scrutinized and evaluated for its constitutionality.

By making it mandatory to have a Delhi-NCR address, the new enrollment rule fails to provide a reasonable justification for restricting the choice and mobility of law graduates from other parts of the country. It disregards the fact that legal education equips individuals with the necessary knowledge, skills, and ethical standards required to practice law competently. A person's ability to practice law effectively should not be determined solely by their place of residence but by their professional qualifications and capabilities.

Moreover, the imposition of such an arbitrary requirement disproportionately affects law graduates from outside Delhi-NCR. It creates an unfair disadvantage for talented individuals who have obtained their legal education from renowned institutions but cannot meet this narrow criterion. This curtails their professional aspirations and undermines the diversity and inclusivity of the legal profession, which should be based on merit and equal opportunities.

In addition to the points above, it is crucial to highlight that the new enrollment rule imposed by the Bar Council of Delhi also compels individuals to change their place of residence, thereby affecting their right to vote. The right to vote is a fundamental constitutional right granted to every citizen, and no rule or regulation by the Bar Council of Delhi should override this constitutional provision.

The requirement of a Delhi-NCR address to enroll in the Bar Council of Delhi effectively forces individuals to change their voting constituency, thus interfering with their right to choose where they exercise their democratic rights. Voting is not just a civic duty but also a profoundly personal decision, often driven by emotional bonds to one's place of birth or where their family resides. By compelling individuals to change their voting rights in order to obtain enrollment, the Bar Council of Delhi is infringing upon their constitutional rights and imposing an unnecessary burden.

It is important to remember that the role of the Bar Council of Delhi is to provide certification and opportunities for legal practice within the jurisdiction of Delhi. However, this does not grant them the authority to supersede constitutional rights or impose restrictions on an individual's voting choices. The Bar Council of Delhi, like any other bar council, is bound by the provisions of the Advocates Act and the guidelines and rules established by the Bar Council of India.


The imposition of the Delhi-NCR address requirement lacks a rational nexus to the purpose it aims to achieve. It is arbitrary and fails to consider the diverse backgrounds, aspirations, and circumstances of law graduates from different parts of the country. The rule creates an unnecessary barrier for talented and deserving individuals who have completed their LLB from esteemed institutions but hail from outside Delhi-NCR. It disregards their potential contributions to the legal profession and unjustly discriminates against them based on their place of origin.

The response provided by the Bar Council of Delhi in the Hon'ble Delhi High Court is particularly noteworthy in highlighting the uniqueness of their enrollment requirement compared to other state bar councils across the country. It has come to light that none of the 13 other state bar councils have imposed a mandatory place of residence requirement for enrollment. The insistence on such a requirement by the Bar Council of Delhi raises questions about its necessity and fairness in legal practice.

It is important to emphasize that the Advocates Act of 1961, which governs the legal profession in India, does not prescribe a specific condition or requirement pertaining to the place of residence for admission as an advocate. The Act states that an application for admission as an advocate should be made to the respective State bar council where the applicant intends to practice. This provision allows for flexibility and acknowledges the individual's right to choose the State bar council of their preference without any restriction based on their place of residence.

The fact that the Bar Council of Delhi stands alone in insisting on the inclusion of a place of residence as a requirement for enrollment highlights the disparity between their approach and that of other state bar councils. It raises concerns about the arbitrary nature of the Delhi bar council's rule and its potential deviation from the provisions of the Advocates Act. The absence of such a requirement in the majority of other state bar councils further undermines the justification for its imposition in Delhi.

In light of this information, it becomes apparent that the Bar Council of Delhi's insistence on a place of residence requirement for enrollment is not aligned with the practices followed by other state bar councils and may lack a solid legal basis. This inconsistency further reinforces the argument that the new enrollment rule is arbitrary, unfair, and potentially unconstitutional.


The logical basis behind the new enrollment rule is questionable at best. It assumes that having a Delhi-NCR address is a prerequisite for an advocate to represent clients effectively or understand the local legal landscape. However, legal knowledge and competence are not determined by one's address but by the quality of education received and the skills acquired during legal studies. The rule undermines the essence of legal education, which aims to equip law graduates with the necessary skills and knowledge to practice law competently, regardless of their geographical location.

One argument for the new enrollment rule is the difficulty faced by the Bar Council of Delhi in verifying the degrees of aspiring lawyers. However, it is essential to highlight that including a Delhi-NCR address does not contribute significantly to the verification process of law degrees. Verification can be carried out by examining academic records, transcripts, and other relevant documents, which do not depend on an individual's place of residence.

Furthermore, the logic behind the new rule becomes even more illogical when considering that individuals from certain areas within Delhi-NCR, such as Bharatpur in Rajasthan, are allowed to enroll in the Bar Council of Delhi. This means that a person from Bharatpur, Rajasthan, has the choice to enroll either in the Bar Council of Rajasthan or the Bar Council of Delhi, solely due to Bharatpur's inclusion within the Delhi-NCR region. However, individuals from other parts of Rajasthan, such as Kota or Jaipur, are denied the same choice and are compelled to change their domicile if they wish to enroll in the Bar Council of Delhi. This discrepancy is gross discrimination based on the place of birth.

The unequal treatment based on the place of birth is not only arbitrary but also undermines the principles of fairness and equal opportunities that should guide the enrollment process. It disregards that an individual's potential as a lawyer should be evaluated based on their qualifications, skills, and dedication to the legal profession rather than their place of birth or residence. Such discrimination based on birthplace not only violates the principles of equality and non-discrimination but also fails to recognize the diversity and talent present across different regions of the country.


The new enrollment rule imposed by the Bar Council of Delhi represents a mockery of the law by those entrusted with upholding it. It violates the principles of constitutionality, fairness, and logic. By mandating a Delhi-NCR address for enrollment, the rule restricts the rights of law graduates, undermines their aspirations, and hinders the diversity and inclusivity of the legal profession.

The notion that individuals must relinquish their right to vote in order to obtain enrollment in a state bar council is unconstitutional, arbitrary, and illogical. The right to vote and the freedom to choose one's place of residence and exercise that right should be protected and respected. It is imperative for the higher authorities, including the Bar Council of India, to intervene and address the concerns raised by aspiring advocates who are facing this dilemma. The principles of fairness, justice, and upholding constitutional rights should guide any decision or rule concerning the enrollment process, ensuring that no individual is forced to compromise their fundamental rights in pursuit of their legal aspirations.

The Bar Council of Delhi must reconsider this unconstitutional, arbitrary, and illogical rule. The legal profession should strive to embrace fairness and equal opportunities, enabling deserving individuals from all backgrounds to contribute to the pursuit of justice. Upholding the true spirit of the law requires the removal of such hindrances and a commitment to promoting a legal system that is truly just and accessible to all, irrespective of their place of origin.

It is imperative for the higher authorities, including the Bar Council of India, to take notice of this situation and rectify the rule to ensure fairness, equal opportunities, and the preservation of the integrity of the legal system. Only by addressing such injustices can we foster a legal profession that genuinely represents the aspirations and talents of all aspiring advocates, regardless of their place of origin or residence.

1 comment:

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