News Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Opening new law colleges: BCI pleads against HC order
News Source/Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

CHANDIGARH: The Bar Council of India (BCI) has filed an appeal challenging the decision through which a single bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court had set aside the three-year moratorium imposed by the council on opening of new legal institutions or law colleges.

While challenging the December 4, 2020, order passed by a single bench of the HC, the council has argued that the single judge has erred in not appreciating that the BCI is a statutory body created by the Advocates Act 1961, and, among others, has been entrusted with the task of regulating the legal education in the country. It includes a statutory duty to set standards for legal education and grant recognition to universities and approval of centres of legal education whose degree in law will serve as qualification for enrolment as an advocate.

It has been further stated that the resolution dated August 11, 2019, imposing a moratorium for a period of three years for the grant of approval of affiliation to new law centres of legal education institutions and for grant of approval to new courses and new additional sections in existing centres of legal education law institutions was passed in the larger interest of maintaining and raising the standard of legal education. The resolution was passed after due deliberations and applying its mind to the prevailing conditions of legal education in our country, BCI has argued in its appeal filed before the division bench.

The council has also submitted that the period of moratorium is not perpetual in nature but for a very limited time to achieve the goal of raising the standards and imparting quality legal education in the country. The matter has been fixed for April 22 for further hearing.

In its order dated December 4, 2020, a single bench headed by Justice Rekha Mittal of the HC had observed that no doubt, the BCI can issue guidelines/ circulars and press for compliance thereof as well as 2008 Rules either at the grant of approval to a new college or adherence thereof by the colleges/institutes for legal education already existing throughout the country but under that pretext it cannot impose a complete ban on opening of new institutes for imparting legal education.

Court also asked the BCI to examine the creation of a portal or nodal agency to ensure compliance of BCI instructions, guidelines and 2008 rules by the centres of legal education. The order was passed while hearing a petition filed by Chandigarh Education Society, which wanted to open a law college at Jhanjheri in Mohali.

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News Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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