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BCI approves alternate guidelines framed by ULC Bangalore in place of compulsory clinical courses; Karnataka HC disposes of plea

The Court disposed of a plea seeking to do away with compulsory clinical courses such as Moot Court exercises and internships for final year law students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Bar Council of India (BCI) on Wednesday informed the Karnataka High Court that it had approved the alternative guidelines proposed by University Law College (ULC), Bangalore University in place of compulsory clinical courses owing to the COVID-19 lockdown (Gautam R v. Bar Council of India).

This development came in relation to a plea seeking to do away with compulsory clinical courses such as Moot Court exercises and internships for final year law students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi was informed of the same by Advocate Shridhar Prabhu, appearing for BCI.

The existing guidelines assign 30 marks each for moot courts, observance of civil and criminal trials, and internship diary. 10 marks are assigned for viva voce on all three aspects.

On June 9, BCI issued a circular stating that with regard to final year LL.B students, universities were at liberty to adopt any other appropriate methods to satisfy the requirements of regular examination. This relaxation was given to universities owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the Bench had sought for a clarification, BCI had apprised the Court that the June 9 circular would apply to all exam papers including those for moot court exercises and internships.

Subsequently, ULC Bangalore came up with alternative guidelines.

Instead of requiring students to observe civil and criminal case proceedings, assessment shall be done on the basis of review based/secondary data based assignments. The documents can be given in person or be sent via post or courier, or scanned and emailed. Each paper shall carry 15 marks.

In place of internships, the University proposed that the students will have to submit two assignments explaining the experiences gained during internship in the previous years of their LL.B course, for 30 marks (each carrying 15 marks).

On August 29, the BCI approved the said guidelines framed by ULC Bangalore.

Taking note of the above submissions, the Court went on to dispose of the matter.

[Read mins of BCI meeting]

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