Kerala High Court exempts law graduates from paying "high" enrollment fees

After the accused sought time to find lawyers, the court directed to defer the trial by one month: Manorama Online

Kochi: On Wednesday, the Kerala High Court granted temporary relief to ten law graduates who had petitioned the court to challenge the Rs 15,900 admission fee set by the Kerala Bar Council. (BCK).

Justice Shaji P. Chaly directed the Bar Council to accept the applications from the petitioners subject to payment of a fee of Rs 750 prescribed under law, and not to collect anything more than that for the time being.

"I think it is only appropriate that the Bar Council is directed to receive applications for enrolment without insisting for any additional fee other than Rs 750 prescribed under law..There will be a direction to the respondent Bar Council to receive applications from the petitioners with a fee of Rs 750, which will be subject to the result of this writ petition," the order read.

The petitioners, ten law graduates of the 2019-22 batch of the Government Law College in Ernakulam, approached the Court stating that the enrolment fees set by the BCK is a big financial hurdle for them and many others.

The plea alleged that the BCK was acting beyond the scope of its rule-making power by framing rules to levy an amount higher than Rs 750 prescribed by 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.

The petitioners also brought to the attention that the High Court had in a 2017 held that the State Bar Council cannot fix enrolment fees in excess of ARs 750 as per the Advocates Act and the apex court had dismissed the appeal filed against the judgment.


(With inputs from PTI)

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.