The bench of Justice Shaji P Chaly directed the Bar Council of Kerala to accept the petitioners’ applications upon payment of a fee of Rs 750, as required by law, and not to take any more fees for the time being.
The facts of this case are the group of ten law graduates approached the High Court challenged the Bar Council of Kerala’s (BCK) enrolment fee of Rs 15,900 by stating that the BCK’s admission fees were a big financial barrier for them and many others and that the BCK had gone beyond its rule-making authority by charging a fee greater than the Rs 750 allowed under the Advocates Act
“Despite the law clearly stipulating the amount of enrolment fee that can be charged, the first respondent (Bar Council of Kerala) is presently levying an amount of Rs 15,900 (or Rs 15,400 in the case of SC/ST applicants) from law graduates who seek to enter the noble profession of law,” the plea said
Additionally, the petitioners brought to notice that the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal against the 2017 ruling made by the High Court that upheld the limitation of the enrolment fees to Rs 750, in line with the Advocates Act, which was imposed on the State Bar Council.
Counsel for the Kerala Bar Council argued that Rs.750/- being a small amount, the expenses incurred for the registration of the Bar Council were not sufficient.
The Court Court after hearing the parties, has granted interim relief to petitioners by directing the BCK to accept the petitioners’ applications upon payment of a fee of Rs 750, as required by law, and not to take any more fees for the time being.
Story Update By: Ms. Sai Sushmitha, Correspondent at Lawgic
Edited By: Ms. Nandini Nair, Content Head at Lawgic