Law colleges in the state will not require `mandatory' sanction from the Bar Council of India (BCI) to admit students in the coming academic session. After an affidavit filed by the state government citing `hindrance' caused by the Council during last year's admissions and questioning its authority in regulating education institutions directly , the Bombay high court directed the state to conduct admissions to law colleges in the state for 2017-18 without the “consent approval of BCI. The admission process must complete within the time scheduled fixed by the university concerned.“
Admissions last year con cluded on November 12, eating into a semester after BCI got involved in the process.
In a subsequent meeting held by the council on Tuesday , it has decided the students thus graduating from such institutes will not be granted licence for practice and will be the lia bility of the state government.
In the affidavit, the state said BCI merely has a consulting and recommendatory role in promotion of legal education and laying down standards of education. “BCI has the power to recognise a law degree given by a university and for that purpose to visit and inspect the concerned university . The council has no role in regulating individual educational institutions directly ... The power and authority to accord permissionsanction for establishment of any law college andor commencement of a law degree course in an existing college is with the state,“ stated the affidavit. It stated that “the orders issued by BCI during admission process for last academic year of debarring law col leges from admitting students is clearly without authority of law and is an encroachment upon the authority and powers of the state.“ The BCI's attempt to send inspection teams to visit individual law colleges for so-called inspection of infrastructure is also beyond the functions conferred upon by the Advocates Act, 1961, it added. The affidavit was filed in a matter filed by a student of SNDT University where the state was made party . The decision on the council's powers will be taken by the SC in a pending petition.
But BCI's legal education committee has decided to take action against colleges which failed to get approval from them. “Students taking admission to any college which has failed to take approval from BCI will not be registered or get license to practice anywhere in the country . Such students will be the state's liability as they had given us an undertaking last year they'd comply with all our norms,“ said vice-chairman of BCI, Satish Deshmukh.