Rules scrapping one-year LL.M programme to be brought into force from 2022-2023: BCI to SC

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New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) The Bar Council of India (BCI) Thursday told the Supreme Court that its 2020 Rules which scraps one-year LL.M programme are proposed to be brought into force from academic session 2022-2023.

The submission was made before a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde which was hearing the pleas, including the one filed by the Consortium of National Law Universities (NLU) which has challenged the Bar Council of India Legal Education (Post Graduate, Doctoral, Executive, Vocational, Clinical and other Continuing Education) Rules, 2020.

“Vivek Tankha, senior counsel on instructions from Manan Kumar Mishra, Chairman of the Bar Council of India who is present before us, states that the impugned rules are proposed to be brought into force from the academic sessions i.e. 2022-2023,” the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, said in its order.

The bench issued notices to the BCI and others seeking their responses on the pleas within four weeks.

“Issue notice returnable in four weeks,” the bench said.

The plea filed by Consortium of NLU has sought quashing of the 2020 Rules.

“The impugned rules and notification are ex-facie unconstitutional, illegal, ultra vires, arbitrary and premised upon a completely fallacious belief (as stated in the Preamble to the impugned Rules) that the ‘entire realm of legal education’ is ‘for the Bar Council of India to regulate’,” the plea, filed by Consortium of NLU, has alleged.

It said that introduction of one year LL.M programme was a result of the recommendation of the National Knowledge Commission and the group set up by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development in 2012 and the University Grants Commission (UGC) issued guidelines and amended its Rules in 2013 for the purpose, in order to make the course globally competitive and at par with international norms.

The plea alleged that the BCI “seeks to not only encroach upon that decision which is not within its domain and has been duly implemented since but also outrightly reverses it without any authority”.

“The impugned notification states that the entire gambit of regulation of legal education has been placed with respondent no. 1 (BCI) in light of the NEP (National Education Policy) specifically excluding legal education from its ambit. It specifically abolished/ scraps the one-year LL.M programme, duly approved by the UGC,” it said. PTI ABA ABA RKS RKS