Bar Council of India
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"Be compassionate to students", BCI urges law institutes to frame alternative schemes for payment of fees in instalments

The Bar Council of India has issued a circular to legal educational institutions asking them to frame flexible schemes for fee payments to ease the financial burden on students and their families during the pandemic.

Lydia Suzanne Thomas

The Bar Council of India (the Council) has issued a circular to centers of legal education asking them to frame flexible schemes for fee payments to ease the financial burden on students and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These are special circumstances, an emergency has arisen, it is a world wide pandemic, students would not have pleaded like this under normal circumstances.”
BCI

The circular has been issued after a flood of requests was recieved by the BCI from students and their families struggling to remit tuition fees on schedule.

The BCI has now urged the legal education institutions to factor in the savings in maintenance and electricity charges owing to the non-functioning of classes. The circular has urged that the reduction in these charges be proportionally adjusted against the fees charged.

Apart from this, individual requests from students must also be sympathetically considered in view of the pandemic, it is enjoined.

Increased costs of electricity, internet connectivity, and the need for internet-supported devices without a proportionate rise in family income have all contributed to the rise in expenses, the circular notes.

Exhorting institutions to be “compassionate”, the Council asks centers of legal education to frame “alternative and optional schemes” for the payment of fees in instalments, as opposed to the lump sum fees charged by most institutions presently.

“Students and even parents alike have pleaded that during the times of pandemic when many people have been laid off from their jobs, many have got reduced salaries, businesses have turned into loss making ventures, reasonable concessions should be offered to them to tide over such difficulties.”
BCI

Students of the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law and Galgotias University were among the law schools recently in the news for protests over demands made for full fee payment for the 2020-21 academic session.

A petition moved by the students of RGNUL over the issue is due to be taken up next in August by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Read the Circular here:

BCI - Advisory to be considerate on the point of fees.pdf
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