A convention of law students organised by the State unit of the All India Lawyers Union (AILU) on Monday decided to observe September 3 as protest day against the introduction of the Bar Council Examination.

The convention formed a committee to chalk out future course of action against the decision of the Bar Council of India to conduct the examination.

Law graduates who passed out from 2009-10 onwards were required to take the examination. Those who came out successfully could alone practice law in the country.

Inaugurating the convention, N.K. Jayakumar, Vice-Chancellor, National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS), criticised the Bar Council of India for introducing such an examination.

He said the decision of the council was undemocratic, unconstitutional and illegal. The Vice-Chancellor said it was undemocratic since the majority of the State bar councils had opposed the proposal to introduce the test. Besides, it also violated the Advocates' Act.

He said the Constitution guaranteed everyone the freedom to practice any profession or carry on trade or business. In fact, the introduction of the examination violated this constitutional provision. Besides, the Bar council's decision was not applicable to those who took law degree before 2009-10 but could not enrol as lawyers. He said the examination was being conducted by a private agency. Thus, it did not inspire any confidence in the law students.

Speaking at the convention, Vinod Singh Cherian, Chairman, Bar Council of Kerala, said the Bar Council of India's decision would affect the future of law students. He said the examination had been introduced without amending the Advocates' Act.

General secretary of the AILU State unit E.K. Narayanan presided. P.V. Surendranath, N.C. Mohanan, K.D. Vincent and C.M. Nazar, AILU leaders, spoke.

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