BCI revokes 3-year moratorium on opening new law colleges

Bar Council of India, BCI, will also conduct surprise checks on law colleges and de-recognise degrees if they don't satisfy the requirements.

BCI revokes 3-year moratorium on opening new law colleges Representational image
R. Radhika | Jun 18, 2021 - 2:44 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Bar Council of India has revoked the three-year moratorium on opening new law colleges and legal education centres in India.

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The legal education regulator has filed an application to withdraw its order that imposed a moratorium in 2019 for a period of three years on the opening of new law colleges and centers of legal education. The application has been filed in Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In its place, the BCI has resolved to appoint a legal education committee that will consider drafting rules for the moratorium. In addition, the council will conduct surprise visits to law colleges and legal education institutions to keep a check on falling education standards in India. The inspection, however, will be conducted once college resumes physical classes after the COVID-19 situation improves.

The BCI, in an official statement, said that several law colleges in India have been granted a no-objection certificate in a “casual manner” by affiliating universities and state governments. The legal education regulator has also said that affiliating universities ought to conduct proper inspection and check the standard infrastructure available before granting their approval.

“It had been observed by BCI that state governments often grant/issue “No Objection Certificate” in a very casual manner for opening of law colleges without consideration of demand of particular area or population of the area. Quite often, the Universities grant affiliation to law Colleges recklessly, without undertaking a careful inspection,” the statement said.

Calling for a stricter approach, the BCI also said that it will consider de-recognising the degrees issued by universities that have granted approval to law colleges without meticulous scrutiny.

In addition, the council has asked state governments and state-owned universities to fill up teacher vacancies within a period of three months. “In 80 percent of Government Institutions, more than 50 percent seats of teachers are vacant. The State Governments are not showing any interest in filling up the vacancies. This is a matter of serious concern,” the BCI statement said.

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