Two years ago the Bar Council of India began a drive to weed out fake lawyers from the various courts of the country. If reports are to be believed, such lawyers make up almost half of the legal community in India.
In an announcement made to the Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, bar council chief Manan Kumar Mishra said that only 55-60% of lawyers, in court across the country, may be genuine.
The Times of India quoted Mishra as saying, "The number of practicing lawyers is about to come down to 55-60% after the completion of the verification process. This will certainly improve the quality of our legal profession."
Mishra told the CJI that while the council was supposed to have 14 lakh voters according to elections statistics of 2012, only 6.5 lakh applications had been received by the council after the verification process began.
CJI Khehar, lauding the BCI said, "I am so happy that BCI has started the verification process. But it is not only about people with false degrees, but also those with no degrees. These people work without a licence. They go to court and practice without any authority. We need to start much before, right from the institutions."
However, this process of sifting fake lawyers from the real ones is not a very easy task.
It was reported earlier this month that the drive had hit a roadblock with universities demanding fees for verifying certificates.
The Hindustan Times had reported that Delhi Bar Counsel chief Balakrishnan had told the Supreme Court last month that the body would have to foot a bill of ₹4 crore as each university was asking for a fixed price. The newspaper had reported the Bar Council of India as saying, the 1.3 million lawyers in India needed certificates otherwise their names would be struck off the roles.