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In a major development, the Supreme Court today stayed the notification issued by the Bar Council of India prescribing an age limit for admission to LL.B. courses.
A Bench of Justices SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao clearly expressed its dissatisfaction at the interim measure taken by the BCI to raise the age-limit to 22 years for the five-year course and 45 years for the three-year course.
Senior Advocate Sanjay Hedge and advocates Gopal Sankaranarayanan and Zoheb Hossain appeared for the petitioners.
When the matter was taken up today, Advocate AK Prasad, appearing for BCI, conveyed the body’s decision to increase the age limit. Hossain, however, submitted that it will not address the concerns of some of the petitioners who are above 22. Justice Bobde seemed to agree.
“If somebody is 23 or 24 then they cannot apply. On one hand you promote legal education, on the other hand your committee prescribes age limit”.
The Court said that it will stay the notification of September 2016 prescribing the age-limit and hear out the case.
“Stay on notification of September 17, 2016 pending decision and all consequential acts taken thereof”.
With this order, LL.B. courses have now been thrown open irrespective of age of candidates.
As the hearing drew to a close, the BCI lawyer requested the court that the admission of the petitioners should be subject to the outcome of the case. The court responded by saying that it was inclined to order to the contrary. Justice Bobde remarked,
“To the contrary we are inclined to say that it won’t be subject to the outcome of this case”.
The matter has now been listed for final disposal in the third week of July.