Enrolling in the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu & Puducherry

madras HC.jpg
Madras High Court (Image taken from here)

One of the first things which we aimed at doing once we were in Chennai was to get ourselves enrolled in the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu & Puducherry, so that we could take the All India Bar Examination IX (AIBE IX) which was earlier slated for 13th December.

It was already October when we started the enrollment process, and we had our fingers crossed that we meet the 12th November deadline for registration for the exam (Registration for the AIBE cannot be done without enrolling in a State Bar Council, since candidates are required to upload a copy of their certificate of enrollment at the time of registration for the AIBE; where the certificate of enrollment has not yet been issued to a freshly enrolled advocate, the candidate may upload a letter from the State Bar Council stating the enrollment number instead).

When we first spoke to a person who had recently enrolled with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu, she informed us that the entire process is long-drawn and takes about 2-3 months and that in all probability, we would not be able to take the exam in December.

A little disappointed yet undeterred, we resolved to start the process at the earliest (our best shot was that the online registration date for the AIBE IX would be extended). The registration form for the State Bar Council of Tamil Nadu can be completed online but since the instructions for filling the form are not very clear, we thought it best to go to the Bar Council personally and register ourselves (thanks to our friend, we knew which documents we would need at the time of registration, and we were hopeful that it would not take us more than a day to complete the registration process). The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu & Puducherry (as the State Bar Council in Tamil Nadu is called) is located at walking distance from the Chennai Beach railway station (the last station on the Velachery-Chennai Beach MRTS route).

The office hours of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu are from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Suffice to say that the day involved running from pillar to post to get documents photocopied and attested by the notary, filling bank challans etc.

The total enrollment fee per person for the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu is 8600 (the entire amount is payable through cash challans at the Indian Bank branch situate in the Madras High Court premises). The breakup of the fee is as follows:

1500- Application Form

3000- Advocates Welfare Fund

3600- Bar Council, Chennai

350- Group Insurance Scheme

150- Bar Council of India

Apart from this, we were also required to give an affidavit and undertaking [where the candidate undertakes to pass the AIBE within 2 years of enrollment in the Tamil Nadu State Bar Council] (in the format specified in the application form) on 20 stamp paper.

Briefly, the documents required are as follows:

  • 3 passport-size photographs (photographs must be taken in formal attire, but the application does mention that for female candidates, photographs taken in plain dress would suffice)
  • 2 Character Certificates by Advocates of 10 years’ standing or above (the character certificates are Forms VI & VII in the application form which state that the advocates know the candidate for atleast 5 years and they are fit to be admitted to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu; as I understand, your application for enrollment is said to be “moved” by these advocates).
  • The original provisional marksheet or degree certificate from your law school (this is returned by the Bar Council once your enrollment is complete)
  • Additionally, you need to submit 2 sets of photocopies of each of the following: ID proof, address proof, Class 12 marksheet, Class 10 marksheet, transfer certificate, conduct certificate (optional), attendance certificate (optional), migration certificate, provisional degree certificate and the transcript of grades from your law school [all the photocopies must be attested].

An important point to bear in mind is that one cannot enroll in the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu if one is engaged in part-time or full-time employment elsewhere (pursuant to the Bar Council of India Rules).

From the time we reached the Madras High Court premises, it took us nearly 3-4 hours to complete our application form. I could not help breathing a sigh of relief that it had been well-worth the trouble, now that we were finally submitting our application forms! This jubilation, however, was premature…the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu has an idiosyncratic requirement that all prospective candidates must give a “notice of intention to practice” in a leading newspaper in Chennai like The Hindu or Makkal Kural (the list of newspapers is specified in Form III of the application form) before they enroll. The format of this ‘public notice’ is given in Form IV of the application and a newspaper clipping  carrying this advertisement must be submitted along with the enrollment application form. The newspaper advertisement held up our application form for a few more days and we finally submitted our form on 19th October.

After this, we were told that the next step in the process is police verification which happened for us after roughly 2 weeks. At the time of police verification, you will need to hand over a set of photocopies of the documents (photocopies of which you had submitted during enrollment) to the police.

Once this is done, enrollment in the Tamil Nadu State Bar Council is generally automatic if all your documents are in order and no discrepancy is found. The Bar Council waits to receive the police verification report and the university verification report (the Bar Council verifies your degree certificate with your law school) before fixing the date for enrollment [You can always call the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu to enquire about the status of your application].

This list is updated regularly on the Tamil Nadu State Bar Council website and fresh batches are enrolled twice a month (before the floods hit Chennai this year, enrollment generally took place in the first and the last weeks of every month). On the date fixed for enrollment, the candidate is required to be present before the Bar Council at the stipulated time and in the prescribed dress code (formals). From what I gather, this is a mere procedural formality, where attendance of the candidates is recorded. From thereon, the enrollment is automatic and the list of the successfully enrolled candidates is published on the TN State Bar Council website, along with their respective enrollment numbers.

Although the police verification in our case happened before 13th November, we were certain that we would not be enrolled in time to take the AIBE IX. After frantic emails to the AIBE Helpline detailing our predicament and requesting extension of date for online registration for the exam, we left much to fate to work itself out and mentally prepared ourselves for the eventuality that we might have to wait for the AIBE X. Our joy knew no bounds when we discovered that the AIBE IX had been deferred to March, 2016, giving us enough time to enroll…and with that, we breathed easy.


31 thoughts on “Enrolling in the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu & Puducherry

  1. does anyone know ifthe bar council@Chennai facilitates admissionfor a Law Graduatequalified Overseas with an LLB 3years&procedures to enroll with bar Council India?towards the Examination?


  2. Hi this was really helpful. I’m enrolling this year and I have a couple of questions. It really would be great if you could help me out.

    1. I’m from DU and they’re refusing to give me my migration certificate because I’m not pursuing my further studies (which is only when they give it to the students) – is the Migration Certificate absolutely necessary?

    2. Is it absolutely necessary for the advocate who moves your motion for enrollment to be present on the date of enrollment?

    3. There are three documents I’m quite confused about:
    -Form II (declaration)
    -Affidavit (the format of which they provided us with at the bar council office)
    Do these three have to be on a 20Rs stamp paper?

    Thanks in advance!


    1. Hi Arushi,
      1. If you explain that your college does not issue migration certificate, I believe that they would waive this requirement. Would be best if you confirm this from the bar council office before taking the form.

      2. Yes, it is. Again, you can confirm this from the bar council office.

      3. From what I remember, it is the affidavit & undertaking which have to be on stamp papers. Check whether Form III states that it has to be on a stamp paper (if yes, then it will need to be on stamp paper)

      All the best!


  3. I have submitted my application for enroll as bar council member on 22 June 2016. My status is not published till to day.By ANBAZHAGAN VAIYAPURI< PONDICHERRY.


  4. Could you pls let me know above 40 age group completed LLB degree, Why they are asking Pancard and form16 etc……… Tamilnadu Bar council.


    1. Dear Sukumar,
      You can enquire from the Bar Council directly about this information. The list of candidates who are successfully enrolled is published regularly on the website of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu. It would be helpful to check their website directly.


      1. i am sukumar sankarankovil.tirunelveli dt. i am apply in enrollment application produced in september 2015 but case pending because case relief and refresh petition directlybarcouncil produced in 5.7.2017 pls my enrollment process and enrollment date pls sir


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