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SC hears now-cold-feet petitioner for whom Madras HC nearly banned the BCI

The advocate petitioner SM Anantha Murugan, in whose case the Madras high court in October 2015 came down hard on the Bar Council of India (BCI), suggesting that the regulator should be dismantled and replaced with a body of experts, has told the Supreme Court that’s not what he wanted from the court at all.

Murugan’s original petition wanted to curb the entry of persons with criminal antecedents into the law and to maintain purity of law courses, and he yesterday told the Supreme Court through his lawyer A Venayagam Balan, according to The Hindu, that the Madras high court:

did not lend an ear to his arguments that there was no need for a new panel when a legal education committee was already in existence. He said the legal education committee was looking into aspects of improving legal education and enrolment of advocates. The committee could have former Supreme Court and High Court judges, a sitting Chief Justice of any of the high courts, a distinguished professor of law, the law secretary and UGC Chairman and also five members of the Bar Council of India to effectively bar persons with criminal antecedents from entering the legal profession.

Apex court justices V Gopala Gowda and UU Lalit yesterday issued notice to and sought a reply from the BCI and the Tamil Nadu bar council.

Madras high court judge Justice N Kirubakaran had in October suggested abolishing the three-year LLB, while retired judges, academicians, legal luminaries and others could much better regulate the profession and keep out criminal elements than the BCI

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