This year’s law graduates and the current law students at the University of Delhi received a shock when the Bar Council of India decided to de-recognise DU’s law course, which is taught at three centres in DU, which are Campus Law Centre, Law Centre-1 and Law Centre-2. The BCI sent a letter to the Vice Chancellor of DU and to all state bar councils on Monday, announcing its decision.
In the letter, BCI states that “In absence of extension of approval of affiliation of these law centres, the students who were admitted in the sessions 2011-12 onward and passed out from the academic year 2013-14 are not eligible for enrollment as advocates. You are therefore advised to take appropriate action with regard to these law centres and inform BCI about steps taken in this regard immediately.”
Rules of the BCI state that a law college/law school/institution that has not been inspected for a continuous period of 5 years shall have to apply afresh to the BCI and seek approval of affiliation on or before July 31, 2010. Failure to do this deems the degree imparted by the college to be illegal.
Keeping these rules in mind, sources at BCI said that DU failed to respond to its repeated reminders on extension of affiliation beyond the academic year 2010-11. A communication was sent to the three centres in July 2010 for the first time that DU must seek approval and throw open its centres for BCI’s inspection.
The Dean of Faculty of Law, Professor Ashwani Kumar Bansal reassured the students that, “Today itself I have replied to BCI reminding them that they gave us time till December 31 this year to apply for approval. It is not a big issue. We came into existence in 1924 while BCI was born in 1960s. A few years ago they made certain rules and want us to abide by them. I would like to remind everyone that we lead legal education standards in the country. Around 80 of our alumni are judges in various high courts and four adorn the Supreme Court. Before declaring us invalid, look at our track record. We will resolve the issue amiably; students need not worry at all.”
Surya Raju, a student at the Campus Law Centre, said, “Of course there is a sense of confusion and fear, but as of now, we’re just waiting to see how it pans out.” She also said that the dean has put up a notice reassuring them and “We are, more or less optimistic that it’ll work out, but we are disappointed that the Faculty has put this off for so long.”