The Bar Association of India

93 Lawyers' Chambers
Supreme Court of India
New Delhi 110 001
Telephone: +91 11 3385902
Fax: +91 11 3329273 / 3357521


Number of Members: 2,152
Annual Cost of Ordinary Membership: Rs.100/-
Membership Is: Voluntary

Bar Profile:
The Bar Association of India was established in April 1960 shortly before the enactment of the Indian Advocates Act, 1961. It was registered under the Societies Registration Act (XXI of 1960). The first executive committee was headed by Mr M. C. Setalvad, the first Attorney General of India. There were two Vice-Presidents, Dr K. M. Munshi and Mr K. Rajah Iyer, a Treasurer and four General Secretaries. The Solicitor General, Government of India and the Advocate Generals of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Kerala, Mysore, Bombay and Shillong were members. Besides these, there were sixteen other members. The Advocates Act, 1961 fused the legal profession in India abolishing the distinction between Solicitor and Advocate and a common term, viz. Advocate was prescirbed. It was also made mandatory that only an Advocate whose name is entered on the roll of a State Bar Counci could practice law in India. In course of time Bar Associations came to be formed in various High Courts and District Courts. With the establishment of Tribunals and Courts under specific statutes, for example, Labour Courts/Tribunals under the Industrial Disputes Act, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal under the Income Tax Act, etc., advocates primarily practising in those Courts and Tribunals formed their own Associations. The Bar Association of India is the Apex body which has, as corporate members, representatives from the Supreme Court Bar Association, State Bar Federation, High Court Bar Associations, Incorporated Law Society, District Court Bar Associations and the local Bar Associations. Presently the Association has 33 founder members, 1,151 life members, 877 ordinary members and 91 corporate members.

The Association has five types of members:

  1. Founder Member
  2. Life Member
  3. Ordinary Member
  4. Ex-Officio Member
  5. Corporate Member

Executive Committee
The day to day functions of the Association are carried out by the following:

  • An Executive Committee elected by the Governing Council at an Annual General Meeting consisting of the following:
    • One President
    • Not more than eight Vice-Presidents
    • One General Secretary and not more than four Joint General Secretaries
    • One Treasurer and
    • One Joint Treasurer
  • One member from each State elected by the members of the Governing Council from that State;
  • One member from all the Union Territories elected by the members of the Governing Council from those territories;
  • The Attorney General of India, the Solicitor General of India and the Additional Solicitor General of India ex-officio;
  • Four members nominated by the President from among the members of the Association; and
  • One Secretary to be nominated by the President from each such State or Union Territory as the President may designate from among members of the Association in such State or Union Territory.

Objectives and Tasks
The Bar Association of India is a voluntary organisation of lawyers. The principal aim of the Association is to achieve the objects of the Indian legal profession as set out in its Memorandum of Association, through bar associations and individual lawyers all over India.

Some of these objects are:

  • to uphold the Constitution of India, and the representative, free and democratic form of Government and to uphold and promote the Rule of Law;
  • to promote the science of Jurisprudence and to encourage and conduct research and investigations in legal and allied fields;
  • to promote reform in the administration of justice and law and its healthy development according to the social, economic and other needs of the people;
  • to promote uniformity of legislation and of judicial decisions throughout the country;
  • to uphold the honour, the dignity and the independence of the Bar and the profession of law;
  • to assist the Bar in upholding its rights and dignity in its relations with the executive and the judiciary;
  • to apply the knowledge and experience in the field of law to the promotion of the public good;
  • to promote unity and solidarity among the members of the Bar throughout India.

Some of the other objectives of the Association include provision of free legal aid, improvement of legal education, maintenance of high professional conduct and discipline, to hold conferences and seminars on current topics, etc.

Journal or Newsletter
The Indian Advocate Annual subscription costs: Rs. 100 or US$50 for overseas subscribers. Editor: R. K. P. Shankardass
The Association also issues occasional newsletters.


LL.B from an Indian university followed by one years practical training and enrolment with a state Bar Council.

Continuing Legal Education Requirements

Code of Ethics
Standard of Professional Conduct & Etiquette Rules framed under Advocates Act 1961.

Disciplinary Functions
Original and appellate jurisdiction.

Practice by Foreign Lawyers
Not permitted. However, foreign lawyers can appear with special permission of the court for specific cases.

Current Officers & Leadership

F. S. Nariman

Honorary General Secretary
Lalit Bhasin


Membership Enquiries
S. D. Sharma at the above address