Government of India has evolved a Scheme named Rajiv Gandhi Adhivakta Prashikshan Yojna (Rajiv Gandhi Advocate’s Training Scheme) to be launched on 27 June, 2011. The Scheme envisages selection of 10 young practicing Advocates from each State every year for being imparted professional training. This initiative is in sync with the Supreme Court directive in the case of State of Maharashtra vs Manubhai Pragaji Vashi (1995) 5 SCC 730 where the Court had observed that continuing and well organised legal education is absolutely essential reckoning the new trends in the world order and to meet the ever-growing challenges.
The main object of the Scheme is to motivate and encourage young talented meritorious lawyers to remain in practice at the Bar at grass root level imparting professional training to them. The Scheme targets young lawyers who are practicing in Magistrate and Munsif Courts, by providing proper professional training for a period of two months so that they may serve the need of law professionals at grass root level. The training will encourage them to stay in the profession at the grass root level and the nation would get benefit of their services in the field of providing justice to all. Each year, from each State, not more than ten and practicing young advocates, shall be selected for this purpose. Preference will be given to SC/ST/Other Backward Classes and physically handicapped advocates.
Only talented and meritorious Advocates in actual practice in Magistrate or Munsif courts, not above 30 years of age, are eligible for the selection by the Selection Committee for this training. He/she should be willing to make services available for legal aid programme.
As per the Scheme, the Selection Committee is to consist of a High Court Judge to be nominated by Chief Justice of that High Court, Additional/Assistant Solicitor-General to that High Court, Chairman, State Bar Council and Advocate-General of the State. The selected candidates shall be provided professional training of two months. The Training will have two components-
(i) One month training imparted in a National Law School
(ii) One month training under a Senior/leading Advocate of the place where the candidate practices
Professional training to select candidates shall be given by a National Law School/University nominated by the Central Government. During the training, selected candidates shall be provided free lodging and boarding facility.
For the purpose of meeting the expenditure of the scheme, the Central Government shall provide the necessary amount in the Budget of Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs). The fund shall be used for the purpose of-
· Expenditure in providing training through law school;
· Expenditure for providing lodging and boarding facilities to the selected candidates during the professional training at Law School;
· Necessary administrative expenses for administering the scheme.
For the purpose of administering the scheme, a National Committee has been constituted. The National Law University, Delhi, in consultation with the Central Government shall –
· Fix the maximum number of candidates to be selected in a year for each State and Union Territory;
· Empanel Senior Advocate/Leading Advocate under whom candidates will be placed for training; and
· From time to time review the progress/success of the scheme and make necessary changes.
Currently, 180 advocates have been selected by the Selection Committees of 18 States (10 from each State). Four batches will be trained in the first phase, which will be held from 27th June to 23rd July, 2011. The advocates will be placed with the empanelled Senior Advocates of the place where the trainee advocate practices.
In the 12th Five Year Plan, the scheme will be revised for training from 50 candidates from each State.