Indian Lawyers can advertise online: Bar Council of India rules amended

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The Bar Council of India had once said that the Legal Profession was not a trade and hence Advocates cannot be permitted to advertise and promote their services. This had formed the basis of Advocates Acts 1961. On 28th July, 2008, three member bench of the Supreme Court of India headed by Justice B N Aggarwal was hearing a petition filed by an advocate that challenged the Rule 36 Section IV of BCI that prohibited the advertising by Law Professionals. BCI told the bench that it was decided that the rules be amended and Indian Advocates be allowed to advertise their services.  

Making an amendment to the rule the BCI permitted that the advocates could provide the information within the fixed parameters on their chosen website. This amendment allowed advocates to mention their names, telephone numbers, email IDs and their professional and educational qualifications. Justice Kapadia who was the part of the bench recommended that the advocates could also state their areas of specialization and the years of experience in those fields. Further to the amendment, BCI had stated that the ads by advocates needed to follow fixed parameters and any breach of rules would be taken as professional misconduct. Further, it stated that the western practices couldn’t be followed here as they could create an imbalance in the Indian Legal System.  

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