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CJI Thakur calls spade, spade, tells BCI to shape up: Shut down fake law colleges, improve disciplinaries

New Chief Justice of India (CJI) TS Thakur told it like it is, in a speech at a function hosted by the Bar Council of India (BCI) felicitating him, according to the PTI.

There are law colleges where you may not have faculty, no library or where attendance will not be marked. I believe there are law colleges where you have to just go and pay the fees, the rest is taken care off.

How can a legal profession or how can you tolerate this kind of situation? I believe this is a great responsibility cast upon the Bar Council of India (BCI) and bar councils to shut down such shops. I am sure that the admission standards will be raised.

Why can’t the Bar Council say that we will not accept anything less than first division and that too through a competitive examination? And, you should restrict the number of admissions these colleges give so that you can control this. Otherwise this profession will be so overcrowded.

“The more this profession gets overcrowded, the more the malpractices because people will have to survive. You have to make a mechanism so that only the best come into the profession. Let the profession become competitive and we can say we are no way less than any other profession.

He also said, according to the Indian Express Delhi Confidential column: “In the marriage market, they say your son is IAS officer, ok yes, IFS, IPS and so on but when you say lawyer, they say no no… In the marriage market also the lawyer has no value.”

He also suggested that an independent tribunal should handle disciplinary complaints for action against lawyers:

Unwanted and unprofessional members in the bar and their isolation and removal are also a challenge. I can assure that the real core of the profession is very good. But there are some people who enter into this profession because it adds respectability.

...I think one of the challenges that you have to take immediately is that you must identify and weed out such elements so that the bar remains in its pristine glory, in its purest form... So that only the professions remains.

So you (BCI) need to deal with such elements very very se

riously. Appointing a tribunal for disciplinary action can be one such thing. If you have five lawyers sitting to decide disciplinary action against another lawyer, it will be embarrassing. Why should you face that embarrassment? Why not have independent tribunal for the action which you (BCI) say can’t be tolerated at any cost?”

Supreme Court justices Dipak Misra, AK Sikri, MY Iqbal, R Banumathi, Arun Mishra and PC Pant were also present.

BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra responded and “highlighted the steps taken by the council against strikes and absenteeism from work in court called by various bar associations,” according to PTI, and “also said that the Council has decided to revise the curriculum of law courses to meet today’s competitive standards”.

In two years of Mishra’s tenure from 2012 to 2014, the number of colleges in India mushroomed from 800 to 1,200, Legally India reported at the end of 2014.

In 2014 alone, 92 new law colleges were opened, according to law ministry data.

Photo by Janine

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