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BCI to hire PR agency, resolves that HRD min ‘stealthily trying to invite foreign firms’

The Bar Council of India (BCI) will engage a public relations (PR) consultancy and passed a resolution to agitate against the Human Resource Development ministry’s move to take away legal education, which the BCI said was a move “stealthily trying invite foreign firms”.

The BCI passed three resolutions on 7 January 2012 relating to the Higher Education and Research Bill 2011. [Download BCI resolutions here]

In one of the resolutions the BCI resolved that a “reputed media agency” should be engaged to “propagate the various activities of the bar council of India in public domain”.

The BCI also resolved “to oppose tooth and nail this [sic] draconian and highly condemnable proposals contained in the Bill”, calling for a “phase-wise agitation” to be undertaken by “the lawyers all over India” on 20 January 2012 to protest the Bill.

“The proposed new legislation, by lowering the status of the legal profession, is stealthily trying to invite foreign firms to settle down in India thereby depriving the legal professional in India of its legitimate claims,” resolved the BCI.

“The type of confusion this legislation will create will only bring down the name of the legal profession and make way for inviting foreigners onto the Indian soil.”

The council is also concerned that this piece of legislation will bring for the lowered educational standards through over-centralisation of legislative power.

“The Bill in its present form will lead to bureaucratization,” said the BCI. “The Bar Council of India visualizes that the proposed commission will not be able to cater to the needs of all the professional courses or subjects as with over centralized power innovation and quick decision making will be at stake.”

The BCI argued that its existing legal education committee consisted of “top legal luminaries” and in March 2011 had also invited former BCI chairman and ex-solicitor general Gopal Subramanium, senior advocates Ram Jethmalani, Ashok Desai, KK Venugopal, PP Rao, Anil Divan, AK Ganguli and OP Sharma, as well as NLU Delhi vice-chancellor Ranbir Singh and Justice Mukul Mudgal.

“All these experiences will come to naught if the proposed Bill takes away the function entrusted to the State Bar Councils and Bar Council of India with respect to Legal Education in India,” stated the BCI.

The Bill proposed to remove legal education completely from the ambit of the BCI and state bar councils, including the accreditation and inspection of colleges.

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