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List of good, bad, ugly law schools as BCI minutes transparently document ‘allurement’

Intending to increase transparency the Bar Council of India (BCI) has published full minutes to its three last meetings, which primarily deal with the de-recognition of more than 50 law schools but also timetable issues such as whether foreign lawyers should be allowed to practice foreign law in India.

The BCI considered more than 160 cases of law colleges seeking recognition at three meetings on 30 April, 21 August and 4 September 2010 and published more than 100 pages of minutes.

Discussion of legal education took up so much of the BCI’s time at the meetings that other topics could not be addressed. However, it is understood that at the next meeting the agenda will include whether foreign lawyers are allowed to practice foreign law, arbitration and mediation in India, and whether plagiarism software can be made mandatory for law schools.

Good, bad & slightly ugly

Of law schools that had been inspected or had replied to the BCI’s requests for information, 37 law colleges’ applications for accreditation for the 2010-11 academic year were outright rejected (see list below). Those colleges were told to stop taking further admissions in the 2010-11 academic year and many were served with show cause notices why they should not be closed.

Around 17 colleges’ applications were only partially accepted, with the BCI having rejected permissions to hold a five-year LLB degree or other course.

At the BCI’s first meeting on 30 April 2010, 42 colleges inspection reports were considered and seven colleges were outright rejected accreditation.

At the 21 August hearing out of 71 colleges that were considered, 12 colleges faced outright rejections and 11 had their recognition to hold five-year LLB courses revoked.

On 4 September  a total of 53 colleges were considered. Of those 18 were rejected outright and three were rejected a second time after responding to earlier show cause notices.

A total of seven schools were partially derecognised for holding five-year courses, while four responses to previous show cause notices to previous partial derecognitions yielded no change in the decision.

In the case of one college, Maa Jinwani College of Legal Studies (Pushpgiri, Treeth Sonkatch, Madhya Pradesh), the BCI allowed the appeal and the college was permitted to hold the three year course.

Almost all acceptances attached stringent conditions, with the most frequent being the stipulation of a minimum expenditure on books, an increase in the number or qualification of faculty or the conforming to the UGC minimum pay guidelines for teaching staff. Only Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) in Haryana and Dr Ambedkar Government Law College Pune had their accreditation unequivocally approved without any conditions.

Unusually School of Law, SASTRA University, Tanjavur was granted full accreditation subject to a “dress code of law students [being] implemented” and that it would institute a legal aid programme.

But not all got away lightly.

In the case of the Institute of Law & Management Studies, Maharishi Dayanand University (Gurgaon, Haryana) not just the college itself but also all promoters of the college would be blacklisted from ever running another law school, stated the BCI minutes, after the in-charge of institution allegedly “attempted to offer allurements to the Office of Chairman, Bar Council of India” Gopal Subramanium.

Another college that was slammed as “completely unfit to impart legal education” was the Hutama  Rajguru  Shikshan  Prasarak  Mandal’s  (HRSPM)  Law College, Rajgurununagar, Pune, which is affiliated to the University of Pune.

Occasionally leniency was granted. From the inspection report of R.K. Law College, the BCI said it was not satisfied that the college was “maintaining the standards which are expected”. “However, having regard to the fact that the said institution is an existing institution, we consider it appropriate that the affiliation/approval be extended.”

Symbiosis Pune’s off-campus centre in Noida was also given leeway due to Symbiosis’ status as a reputed institution, curriculum and Noida infrastructure, although evidence would have to be shown that the law school had sufficient faculty in Noida. Leniency was also granted in cases of some colleges catering to scheduled tribes and castes (SC/STs) or those based in rural areas such as Sikkim’s Faculty of Law at The Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India University, or close to the army-controlled Chinese border, such as Assam’s S. I. P. E. Law College, Dibrugarh.

Special status was also accorded to Himachal Pradesh University despite criticism. “We are deeply disappointed at the way in which the Himachal Pradesh University has looked after its law faculty,” stated the minutes. “Ordinarily, we would not have granted affiliation to the said law school, but, considering the fact that this is a faculty of law of the Himachal Pradesh University from which eminent lawyers and judges have passed out, there is a public duty cast on the State Government of Himachal Pradesh as well as the Himachal Pradesh University to remedy the situation.”

Chanakya National Law University (CNLU) Patna was found by the BCI to not have "minimum standards required under the rules" and would be derecognised pending its response. The BCI added: "It is made clear that shortcomings pointed out by the inspection team has to be rectified within two months. By and before that date, inspection team will again examine whether the shortcomings have been removed or not. In case shortcomings are not removed, University authorities are directed that they should not admit any student during the session 2010-2011. The university must file the compliance report within two months from the date of receipt of the communication. If University fails to do so serious steps is likely to be taken which they have to bear." CNLU's response was scheduled to be considered at the August hearing but was deferred due to lack of time. [Update: CNLU has not been derecognised after a response was later furnished by the college]

Law colleges: Rejections of 2010-11 accreditation and student admissions

April meeting rejections

  • Ram Kumari Ayodhya Law College, Begusarai, Bihar
  • Bihar Institute of Law, Patna (show cause response rec'd but not yet considered)
  • Chanakya National Law University, Patna (derecognition subject to unsatisfactory response, show cause response rec'd but not yet considered)
  • Ram Kumari Ayodhya Law College, Begusarai, Bihar
  • Anugrah Memorial Law College, Gaya, Bodh Gaya, Bihar
  • Agra College, Agra, UP (approval for three-year course already withdrawn)
  • Utrakhand Technical University, Uttrakhand

August meeting rejections

  • S. S. S. Mata Ramabai Ambedkar Women’s Law College, CIDCO, Aurangabad
  • S. S. S. Devjibhai Hariya Law College, Kalyan, Distt- Thane, Maharashtra
  • Namdevraoji Parjane Patil Law College, Kopargaon, Distt-Ahmednagar, Maharashtra.
  • Hutama Rajguru Shikshan Prasarak Mandal’s (HRSPM) Law College, Rajgurununagar, Pune
  • Hurakadli Ajja Law College, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • B. M. Law College, Muzaffarnagar
  • P. S. Raju Law College, Kakinada, A.P.
  • Prasunna College of Law, Kurnool
  • Department of Law, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University, Srikakulam, Etcherla, A. P.
  • Maa Jinwani College of Legal Studies, Pushpgiri Treeth, Sonkatch, Madhya Pradesh
  • DAV PG College, Lucknow, U.P.
  • Jorhat Law College, M.G. Road, Jorhat.

September meeting rejections

  • Shri V. P. K. Mandal’s Pravin Gandhi College of Law, Vile Parle, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • M. S. College of Law, Kausa, Thane, Maharashtra
  • Smt. Sonia Gandhi Law College, Gulbarga, Karnataka
  • Jawahar Law College, Yadgir
  • Karnataka Law College, Gulbarga
  • H. C. E. S. Law College, Gadag
  • Shri B. R. Mirdha Govt. College, Nagaur, Rajasthan (STBC)
  • Government Law College, Sirohi, Rajasthan
  • Government P.G. College, Datia, Madhya Pradesh
  • Centre for Juridical Studies, Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh
  • Maharani Laxmi Bai Govt. College of Excellence, Gwalior
  • D. H. S. K. Law College, Dibrugarh
  • Dr. R. K. Baruah Law College, Dibrugarh
  • Institute of Law & Magmt. Studies, Maharishi Dayanand University, Gurgaon, Haryana
  • Saraswati Law College, Chitrdurga, Karnataka
  • Virendra Kumar Singhal Law College, Moradabad, U.P.
  • Visakha Law College, Visakhapatnam
  • Veeravali College of Law, Prakash Nagar, Rajamundry

Five year LLB courses derecognised (or other if specified)

August meeting

  • R. K. Law College, Bangalore, Karnataka (LLM course recognition withdrawn)
  • Bharti Vidyapeeth’s New Law College, Kolhapur
  • Bharathi Vidyapeeth’s New Law College, Sangli.
  • Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Law, Kakinada
  • Yashwantrao Chavan Law College, Karad.
  • P. E. S. Modern Law College, Pune
  • College of Law, D. N. R. College Association, Bhimavaram, A.P
  • S. I. P. E. Law College, Dibrugarh, Assam
  • Sridhar University, Pilani, Rajasthan
  • University Institute of Legal Studies, H.P. University, Shimla, H. P.
  • Govt. New Law College, A. B. Road, Indore

September meeting

  • Manjra Charitable Trust’s College of Law, Navi Mumbai
  • Sridhar University, Pilani, Rajasthan
  • M.P.R. Law College, Srikakulam, A. P.

Special cases: Show cause notices for 2011-12 recognition

  • Seth Shankarlal Lahoti Law College, Gulbarga, Karnataka
  • Siddharth Law College, Gulbarga, Karnataka
  • Sagar Gangotri College of Law, Sagar, Karnataka
  • Marwadi Siksha Samithi Law College, Hyderabad, A.P. - no more admissions but can be cured for three year course if additional faculty members appointed.

Download and read the full minutes for the April meeting, August meeting and September meeting

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