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Law school heads balk at BCI ‘request’ to reserve seats for BCI nominees


BCI asks nicely for special quota (click to enlarge)
BCI asks nicely for special quota (click to enlarge)
The Bar Council of India (BCI) has sent a letter to the administrators of all Indian law schools, asking them to reserve two places on each course for BCI nominees.

The BCI’s letter dated 5 January and addressed to all registrars and principals of “universities [and] centres of legal education of imparting legal education in the country” was received by colleges today, requesting them to reserve seats for BCI nominees though stopping short of directing law schools to do so.

The letter stated that on 16 December 2012 the BCI’s general body had accepted a 2 December executive committee meeting resolution, stating:

“The Committee considered the proposal of Mr TS Ajith hon’ble member of the council for allotment /reservation of few seats in the law college/law school/law universities of the country for the nominees of the Bar Council of India, in view of the Committee the said proposal is worth consideration and accordingly it is resolved to request the concerned vice chancellors/registrars, principals/deans of the College to make provision for allotment of at least two seats in each course in each and every Universities/Colleges/Law School for the nominees of the Bar Council.”

Ajith, who is the Kerala bar council’s BCI nominee, declined to comment when contacted by Legally India but said that representations could be made to him at the Delhi BCI offices from Saturday and would be considered. He said that the BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra would be able to comment on the development, but Mishra was not reachable for comment at the time of going to press.

Law schools were unaware of the reason for the resolution, said one vice chancellor of a national law university who declined to be named, but added that he would oppose the resolution “tooth and nail”.

BCI legal education committee member and former NLSIU Bangalore director NL Mitra said: “The BCI cannot have any reservation like this. That would be an anti-competitive practice and completely unconstitutional. I have not seen it anywhere on the legal education committee’s agenda and I will oppose it. On this issue itself I may resign.”

BCI member and former BCI chairman Ashok Parija commented that the proposal might not be workable because many colleges had their own governing statutes and admissions were decided by the Common Law Admissions Test. “We will do nothing without taking colleges on board,” he added.

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