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Exclusive: AP law schools take BCI to court over de-recognition, pre-empted by one week

Two Andra Pradesh (AP) law colleges, whose accreditation was withdrawn by the Bar Council of India (BCI) as part of its drastic pruning of law schools, have filed writ petitions in Hyderabad High Court challenging the BCI’s decision.

Visakha Law College, Visakhapatnam and Veeravali College of Law, Prakash Nagar, Rajamundry both filed writ petition on 17 September 2010 against the BCI, seeking a writ of mandamus to allow them to be part of the AP law school entrance examination LAWCET.

Both law colleges were denied accreditation to admit students at the 4 September 2010 BCI meeting, which was part of three meetings at which the BCI derecognised more than 50 law schools.

That list and the meeting’s minutes were only made public on 21 September 2010, as reported by Legally India this week, and were not communicated to the law colleges at the time the writs were filed.

However, it is understood that the state’s admissions exam convenor LAWCET was notified by the BCI of colleges that were derecognised on 16 September, one day before the writ petitions were filed by the colleges.

A representative from Veeravali law college confirmed to Legally India that the petition had been filed and that the college would also seek to challenge the BCI’s withdrawal of accreditation. The BCI declined to comment.

The writ petitions are due for their first hearing on 27 September and are listed by the AP High Court website as:

The BCI minutes of September had recorded the following in respect of the two colleges:

Visakha Law College, Visakhapatnam

Having regard to the fact that the Legal Education Committee is not likely to meet again in the near future and since orders will have to be passed in respect of the colleges where inspection have been carried out we allowed the office to mention in respect of the Visakha Law College, Visakhapatnam. Having perused the report of the inspection committee, we have taken into account all the facts, circumstances and the records we are satisfied that the institution neither deserves an accreditation for a 3 year nor a 5 year course. Issue notice to show cause as to why it should not be closed and why recognition should not be withdrawn? Injunction to be issued against further admissions. In respect of the previous batches, issue notice to the Vice Chancellor, Andhra University to show cause how the students of the earlier batches can be accommodated in neighbouring institutions. Notwithstanding the fact that the college has not even deposited the guarantee money, yet, we have not taken into account the non deposit of guarantee money for arriving at our conclusion.

Veeravali College of Law, Prakash Nagar, Rajamundry

Mention made by office on Veeravali College of Law, Prakash Nagar, Rajamundry. Having perused the report we have taken note of the fact that the same is a minority institution like Visakha Law College. However, having regard to the total lack of qualification of regular faculty and they being totally under-paid there is no possibility of the institution being able to impart high quality of legal education either in the 3 year course or the 5 year course. Permission to run 3 year course and 5 year course rejected. Injunction is issued against admission for the years 2010-2011. Vice Chancellor, Andhra University to show cause how the students of the earlier batches can be adjusted.

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