BCI, Maharashtra law colleges in temporary truce, CET challenge in SC adjourned

Government Law College
Government Law College

Admissions to Maharashtra’s law colleges are finally going to proceed uninterrupted this year. This is one of the inferences drawn from the hearing before the Bombay High Court today, with special counsel for the state LM Acharya informing the court that admissions to all one hundred and sixteen law colleges in the state have commenced.

Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and MS Sonak J. were hearing a writ petition filed by law students of SNDT University, questioning the role of the Bar Council of India in legal education. One of the reliefs revolved around the grossly delayed admission process, and the BCI’s decision to de-affiliate a number of law colleges including the Government Law College in Mumbai.

Now that the admission process has been initiated, and the first list has been published, this specific prayer is rendered infructuous. However, as reported in the Asian Age, the BCI has merely granted a year’s exemption for all the law colleges.

This particular fact elicited a response from CJ Chellur today; “The same thing will happen next year”, she said.

Appearing for the students, lawyer IA Saiyed argued that the larger issue of the BCI’s role in legal education remained to be addressed. To this, he received support from special counsel Acharya, who argued that the BCI could not be allowed to jeopardise the admission process.

It was a point that Sonak J. seemed to be in consonance with,

Assuming you have the power [to regulate], you cannot create a situation where there are no admissions.”

Meanwhile, counsel for the BCI Amit Sale said that all the issues raised, including those connected to the Legal Education Rules of 2008, would be addressed in the course of the case hearings. The matter shall now come up in due course.

This was not the only matter concerning Maharashtra’s law colleges to be heard today. After the Bombay High Court dismissed a challenge to the state Common Entrance Test for law, an appeal was filed in the Supreme Court. On August 29 this year, the apex court issued notice, seeking a response within a week’s time.

Today, the matter came up before Madan B Lokur and RK Agrawal JJ, and was adjourned to September 20 since a counter affidavit had still not been filed.

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