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SC tells BCI to reconsider age limit by next week Tuesday

See you next Tuesday: SC gives BCI a hint to regulate for consumers of legal education
See you next Tuesday: SC gives BCI a hint to regulate for consumers of legal education

Supreme Court Justice SA Bobde, presiding over a bench with Justice L Nageswara Rao, told the Bar Council of India (BCI) today that it should reconsider the undergraduate law degree age limit of 20 years that it had foisted unexpectedly on law aspirants late last year.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal was leading with senior counsel Sanjay Hegde for the three petitioners including one orphan and Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) scholar, whose cases we had first reported on 6 February. Advocate on record was Zoheb Hossain.

Bobde told the BCI in court today, according to Hossain: “Please reconsider it, because the consumers of legal education have approached us, and you are the body which is supposed to [regulate] legal education in this country.

“Why don’t you consider their request, and let’s hear it next Tuesday?”

The next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday (28 February).

The new bench of Bobde and Rao had been constituted after Justice Dipak Misra had mysteriously recused himself from hearing the petition, possibly because of having formerly worked on a high court bench with the father of the BCI lawyer.

The age limit had already been on the ropes after both the Allahabad high court and the Bombay high court had stayed its application to aspirant petitioners before it.

However, the Allahabad high court had expressly noted that its decision was subject to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court needs to sort out the confusion in particular since there is a conflicting Madras high court judgment, meaning that the application of the Allahabad and Bombay high court decisions could be limited only to students in each respective state.

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