Tuesday, April 23
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Law Graduates File Petition in HC Challenging Bar Council’s Exclusion of Non-Delhi Residents from Enrolment

The petition was filed by Rajani Kumari, a Bihar resident, through lawyers Lalit Kumar, Shashank Upadhyay and Mukesh, challenging the validity of notification no. 271/Gen/SF/2023, issued by the Bar Council of Delhi.

Petition against Bar Council of Delhi

A graduate from Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi, who has completed their legal studies, has filed a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The petition, filed by Rajani Kumari through lawyers Lalit Kumar, Shashank Upadhyay and Mukesh, challenges the validity of notification no. 271/Gen/SF/2023 dated 13.04.2023, issued by the Bar Council of Delhi. According to the notification, law graduates who want to enrol with the Bar Council of Delhi must attach copies of their Aadhaar Card and Voter ID Card. Both documents must bear an address in Delhi or NCR.

The petitioner argues that this requirement discriminates against law graduates who come from outside Delhi/NCR and who have to travel from faraway parts of the country to practice law in Delhi. The petitioner claims that this creates an arbitrary classification based on residential address, which violates Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

Furthermore, the petitioner contends that the requirement for Aadhaar and Voter ID Cards with a Delhi/NCR address imposes an unreasonable restriction on fundamental rights such as freedom of speech and expression, the right to assemble peaceably, and the right to form associations or unions. These rights are guaranteed by Article 19 of the Constitution of India.

The petitioner argues that changing the address on a Voter ID Card would require the law graduate to forfeit their voting rights in their original place of domicile. This violates the right to vote guaranteed by Article 326 of the Constitution of India.

The impugned notification would adversely affect the prospects of law graduates from other states who earned their law degree from prestigious law universities across the country, but who want to enrol with the Bar Council of Delhi. These law graduates would not have the necessary documents to get their address changed to Delhi/NCR.

The petitioner contends that the notification lacks intelligible differentia as to how law graduates belonging to one state are differently placed from those domiciled in another state. The notification is silent about the objective it seeks to achieve from the classification stipulated therein.

The petitioner requests the Hon’ble Court to declare the notification unconstitutional and a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India.

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