While talking to a lawyer online, it is important to ensure that they are a qualified professional who has the necessary skills and certifications to handle your case.
For this, each lawyer is issued an advocate sanad by the Bar Council of India as proof that they are qualified to practice as an advocate. An advocate sanad is required to practice as an advocate in India.
The Bar Council uses this as a yardstick to measure whether a potential advocate is competent enough to carry out the job.
How to get an advocate sanad
The Bar Council of India issues every advocate sanad as it is the body that governs advocates and lawyers in India. This is regulated through the All India Bar Exam, or AIBE, which is conducted twice every year.
If you graduated from a college recognized by the Bar Council of India before 2009, contact the Bar Council of India to receive your advocate sanad. For those who graduated after 2009, the steps for obtaining an advocate sanad are as follows:
- Complete an LLB degree
- Enroll as an advocate with a State Bar Council
- Apply for the All India Bar Exam, conducted twice every year
- The exam centres will be notified at the end of the application period
- Appear for the All India Bar Exam
- If you pass, you will receive your advocate sanad along with your enrollment number soon.
While the Bar Council had decided to hold the exam twice a year since 2010, the pandemic prevented this schedule from being followed. The last All India Bar Exam for acquiring the advocate sanad was the 16th Bar Exam and was held in October 2021.
Those who are already enrolled with a State Bar Council can still apply for the All India Bar Exam. There is no limit on how many times an aspiring advocate can attempt the All India Bar exam. This is to ensure that everyone who is capable can get an advocate sanad.
How to apply for the All India Bar Exam
Before you register for the All India Bar Exam, ensure that you have the following documents ready:
- Advocate ID Card, if issued by a State Bar Council
- Enrollment Certificate issued by a State Bar Council
- Scanned photo and signature of the candidate
- Category certificate, if applicable
- Disability certificate, if applicable
With these documents ready, follow these steps to register for the All India Bar Exam to get an advocate sanad:
- Go to https://allindiabarexamination.com/
- Click “Register Here” on the sidebar on the left side of the screen
- In case the option is not available while checking the site, wait for notification regarding the registration for the All India Bar Exam being opened.
- Fill out the registration form on the next page with accurate details, upload relevant documents, and click “Save.”
- The registration number and password will be sent to your registered email ID.
- Go back to https://allindiabarexamination.com/ and click “Login Here” on the sidebar on the left side of the screen.
- Enter your registration number and password and click “Login.”
- Verify your registration details and then click “Print Challan.”
- After 24 hours, go to any State Bank of India branch with the printed copy of the challan to make the payment
- Keep the sealed and signed Candidate copy with you
- After 24 hours after the payment, login at https://allindiabarexamination.com/ again using the same details
- Click on “Upload Challan & Details”
- Upload an image of your challan, enter the journal number given to you, the branch code of the branch you made your payment at, and the date of the challan according to the Candidate copy
- Click “Submit”
- The application form will be available on the home page. Take a printout of it for your reference.
- Check your details on the application form, and in case of any errors, contact the helpline numbers listed on the website.
After these steps, your registration for the All India Bar Exam will be complete and you will be one step closer to getting your advocate sanad.
The minimum required mark to pass the exam is 40/100. Passing the bar exam will make you eligible for an advocate sanad.
Only those completing their LLB after the academic year of 2008-09 will have to appear for the All India Bar Exam to obtain an advocate sanad. Others may apply for an advocate sanad with the Bar Council of India.
Procedural aspects related to advocating sanad
- Those who clear their LLB degree before the academic year of 2009-10 do not have to clear the All India Bar Exam to acquire an advocate sanad. Others, however, have to clear the exam to be eligible for an advocate sanad.
- The advocate sanad must be renewed every five years. This decision was taken in light of an upsurge of people misrepresenting themselves as advocates in the Madras High Court.
- To ensure that those who are presenting themselves as advocates are authentic, the Bar Council of India argued in front of the Supreme Court in 2015 to uphold the Bar Council Rules that required a renewal of the advocate sanad every five years.
- The advocate sanad can be surrendered by contacting the Bar Council if the advocate wishes to stop practicing as an advocate. However, this can be reverted by contacting them once again if the circumstances change.
- Advocates who are planning to take a break from actively practicing usually do not surrender their advocate sanad as it would be easier to renew their advocate sanad than to revoke its surrender.
To get the best legal representation possible, it is important to contact a lawyer with the proper qualifications and one who is well-versed in the field in which you require assistance.
Legal processes are complex, which is why it is important to verify your representative’s qualifications, especially if you talk to a lawyer online.
An advocate sanad can be used to confirm their qualifications and assure yourself that your legal representative is in a position to protect your interests.