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BCI, State Bar Council has no authority to debar foreign citizens from practicing law in India: Delhi High Court

After considering the case, the Bench said that Jung is not asserting a right to enrolment based on a qualification obtained outside India from a foreign university. It also noted that Korean authorities have already said that there is no nationality bar in their country and any interested individual can take the bar exams.

Justice Varma criticised the enquiry conducted by the BCI while passing its order denying Jung’s request. He said that the query about whether Jung applied for grant of Indian citizenship was wholly immaterial and uncalled for.

The Court rejected BCI’s argument that there may be practical issues which would arise in case disciplinary action were to be initiated against foreign nationals who enrolled, because they may or may not choose to remain in the country during those proceedings.

The argument that Jung’s enrolment would open the floodgates for foreign lawyers entering India was also rejected by the Court. Justice Varma stated that the petitioner was not a “foreign lawyer” claiming a right to establish his own legal practice in India.

In any case, the perceived threat and apprehension, even if it were assumed to be genuine, well founded and germane, would not detract from the right of the petitioner to pursue his claim for enrolment if otherwise permissible under the statute as it stands today.”

Source: Barandbench

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