The Bar Council of India (BCI) told the Supreme Court in an affidavit filed on Tuesday that it was constituting a high-powered committee to check the validity of compulsory chamber placement for young law graduates with seniors [Bar Council of India v. Twinkle Rahul Mangaonkar]..The affidavit was filed through Advocate on Record Durga Dutt in compliance with an order of the apex court dated March 15 seeking a response from the BCI on the standards to be maintained for the legal profession as well as legal education.The BCI was required to file an affidavit to clarify the following points:1) Provision for those working in jobs after graduation to later enter practice after taking the All India Bar Examination (AIBE).2) Better accountability from law colleges in terms of growth and adequate faculty.3) Ways to make the AIBE more meaningful so that it can test the skill and knowledge of a practitioner of law in a better manner4) Evolving a fair system for placement of juniors in chambers..The Council stated that it would write to State Bar Councils asking them to ensure chamber placement of young law graduates."...if juniors get more and more placed, under senior designated Advocates and Advocates with sufficient practice, it will be good for the profession," the affidavit stated.The BCI also informed the Court of its plans to set up an online objective test with more emphasis on major laws which would be undertaken by fresh graduates.“On the basis of the results of these tests, meritorious young law graduates who have freshly obtained enrolment shall get placement under senior advocates or advocates having 25 years of standing at the Bar.”While informing the Court that it was constituting a high powered committee, the BCI said that on reaching a conclusion on how to implement the issue, each such advocate would be requested to engage at least five juniors in their chambers..Making the AIBE a pre-enrolment exam was in conflict with the judgment of the Supreme Court in V Sudeer v. Bar Council Of India, said the BCI.It further said that improvements are being made to make the test of entry into the profession a trial of quality of the advocates and to act as a stricter filter of such advocates entering the profession."...the Appellant for the AIBE 16 held in 2021 directed that only the bare acts without comments be used by the candidates appearing, and the appellant for all intents and purposes seeks to enforce tougher testing upon the incoming Advocates," BCI revealed..The BCI submitted that as of now, the AIBE was a post-enrolment exam and an advocate was not allowed to engage in any profession or job as per the Bar Council of India Rules or the Advocates’ Act.It was the BCI’s submission that this also ensured that persons in jobs do not get the benefit of the Advocates’ Welfare Fund nor were they a part of the voter list.Despite these submissions, the BCI said it had constituted a high-level committee comprising many senior advocates and some former Judges to look into these issues and submit a report..The BCI said that a "more monitored process" was required to ensure that law colleges did not simply rest on recognition obtained once and continued to maintain parameters set forth by the BCI.At present, state governments and government universities grant affiliation casually, without any verification of the information provided by the institutions.“Earmarked around 500 law institutes throughout the country who are sub-standard/below standard and a team led by some former judges/Senior Advocates noted academicians and plans to conduct surprise visits of such institutions,” the BCI told the apex court..Surprise inspections to be conducted at 500 law institutes deemed "sub-standard" by BCI: Law Ministry.Highlighting the problems faced by it in maintaining the standards of legal education, the BCI said that implementation of its rules lay with the universities and state governments.On the lack of requisite faculty and infrastructure in many law colleges, the affidavit stated,“The standard of legal profession has a direct bearing with the standard of law teaching...Almost 90% of the government run colleges /institutions have an acute dearth of infrastructure and faculty, many unfilled vacancies for the last 15-20 years.”The top court was also informed that state governments were recklessly granting No Objection Certificates to universities without examining their infrastructure. Additionally, the BCI expressed a poor view of the fact that only a few universities showed interest in research in the field of legal education. It was submitted that due to this, students were attracted to other countries for higher education.Further, the BCI said that it had tried to scrap the one-year LL.M. course, as it was only an "ornamental degree". To this end, and to foster better research work in the field of legal education, it had introduced the Bar Council of India Legal Education (Post-Graduate, Doctoral, Executive, Clinical and other Continuing Education) Rules, 2020, which was challenged before the Supreme Court..The BCI also expressed its serious concern over the mushrooming of law colleges in the country. To arrest this growth, the BCI said that it had passed a resolution in 2015 asking state governments and government universities to restrict the number of NOCs granted to new law colleges. Despite this, more than 300 NOCs were granted, the affidavit stated.A similar attempt made in 2019 was challenged before the Punjab & Haryana High Court, prompting the BCI to withdraw the move, it said.It was also stated that the slow progress in improvement of legal education was due to a large number of centres for legal education (CLEs) coming up, and that these colleges were not able to get good quality law teachers. In fact, it was submitted that they cooked up and manipulated attendance registers..Another concern raised was that many remotely situated CLEs were not receiving assistance from the University Grants Commission (UGC), state or Central governments. It was stated that except a few select institutions most colleges were struggling to receive funds and therefore, were unable to pay teachers reasonable remuneration.“The Governments are starving legal education funds which is established by the data showing distribution of funds to the institutions of different streams.”.The BCI clarified that it had no powers to grant financial aids to CLEs, and only laid down norms and standards for legal education and carried out inspections.“It must be clarified that the BCI wishes not to imply that such financial powers should rest with them but that a better care in terms of funding is required of the Legal Institutes or CLEs,” the affidavit further explained.Pertinently, it was pointed out the New Legal Education Rules of the BCI were in the process of being amended with the aid and advice of judges, law professors, vice-chancellors and other legal luminaries..Over and above, the affidavit also underscored the importance of law teachers and universities carrying out their responsibilities sincerely in order to bring progress.“Unless the Universities, and noted teachers of Law are serious to discharge their duties honestly and sincerely, we cannot think of improving the standard.”.The BCI concluded that it was doing everything possible and would further deliberate on the observations of the Court to best implement further improvements.