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Legal practice in India is governed by the Advocates Act 1961; an act passed by the Indian Parliament which provides for laws relating to legal practitioners in India and provide for the constitution of the Bar Council of India (BCI) and state bar councils. Under the powers granted in the Act, the BCI has made rules known as BCI rules which lay down rules for practice, legal education and professional ethics. Advocates Act 1961 replaced the earlier Indian Bar Councils Act, 1926.


Before the Advocates Act 1961, there had existed various professions. The Pleaders, Mukhtars and Revenue Agents Act was passed in 1865, followed by the Legal Practitioners Act in 1879, the Indian Bar Councils Act in 1926 and the Advocates Act in 1961.

Bar Council of India Rules

The Bar Council of India is a statutory body that regulates and represents the Indian bar. It was created by Parliament under the Advocates Act, 1961. It prescribes standards of professional conduct, etiquette and exercises disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar. It also sets standards for legal education and grants recognition to Universities whose degree in law will serve as a qualification for students to enrol themselves as advocates upon graduation.

Bar Council of India has been empowered under section 49 of the Advocates Act to make rules. In exercise of those powers Bar Council of India made rules which were published in the official gazette on 6 September 1975.

- Parts I, II and III deal with the establishment of the Bar Council of India, state bar councils, lawyers and their roles.

- Part IV deals with rules of legal education being rules on standards of legal education and recognition of degrees in law for the purpose of enrolment as advocate and inspection of Universities for recognizing its degree in law.

- Parts V, VI, VII, VIII and IX deal with other aspects including professional ethics.

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