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age limit

31 March 2017

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2017 has already seen a record-breaking all-time high in the number of applicants. Almost 50,000 candidates have already registered for the exam, with a few hours still to go before its application deadline closes tonight and final tallies are counted.

10 March 2017

After having left students on tenterhooks and without information for 7 days after the Supreme Court had unequivocally stayed the Bar Council of India (BCI) age limit on studying law, the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) convenor CNLU Patna finally issued a formal notification that, in line with the decision of the apex court and two high courts, students over the age of 20 would indeed be able to study law.

03 March 2017

The Supreme Court has issued an ad interim stay of the Bar Council of India (BCI) age limit today, and ordered the BCI that no age limit should apply to law aspirants seeking to study LLB.

28 February 2017

The Supreme Court challenge of the Bar Council of India (BCI) age limit to studying law has given the BCI until Friday (3 March) to figure out its position after the BCI asked for more time because its general council would discuss the matter tomorrow at a meeting.

27 February 2017

The Bar Council of India (BCI) managed to avoid a serious challenge to the revival of its LLB age bar on 20 February in the Supreme Court, when its counsel admitted that it does not apply to a petitioner who challenged it.

20 February 2017

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.

09 February 2017

Scoop: The Allahabad high court has today ordered the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) convenor to allow around 70 aspirants older than 20 years to apply for the exam, despite the last minute rule change by the Bar Council of India (BCI), though the order is contingent on the pending Supreme Court challenge of the age limit, which we had first reported last week.

07 February 2017

Supreme Court Justice Dipak Misra recused himself yesterday from hearing the writ petition by three petitioners, including by one Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) scholar who is an orphan, against the Bar Council of India (BCI) surprise resurrection of an age limit on studying law.

06 February 2017

There have been numerous pending challenges and at least six high court judgments on the issue of whether the Bar Council of India (BCI) can impose a maximum age limit on law students (of which four judgments quashed the age limit and two upheld the BCI’s power to set one - see table above).

02 January 2017

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2017 convenor CNLU Patna will only accept online payment for registration for the tenth edition of CLAT, to be held on 14 May.

16 November 2016

A petition of 57 aspiring national law school students are set to get their first hearing before the Allahabad high court tomorrow (17 November), with advocate Sushmita Mukherjee challenging the Bar Council of India (BCI) and Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) age limit of 20 years.

27 October 2016

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) core committee decided to bar candidates above the age of 20 years from appearing in the CLAT, 2017 onward, following the Bar Council of India’s (BCI) September 2016 circular to law schools reinstating the age bar for the LLB degree in India.

13 October 2016

NYT's beautiful smackdown of Donald Trump defamation notice: Reputation already shot, so nothing left to lower (Ps: Bring it on): The New York Times has responded rather cleverly to the legal notice of US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, which was fired off by one of New York’s most feared litigators, Marc E Kasowitz.

The Times’ general counsel, David McCraw wrote: “The essence of a libel claim, of course, is the protection of one's reputation. Mr. Trump has bragged about his non-consensual sexual touching of women. He has bragged about intruding on beauty pageant contestants in their dressing rooms. He acquiesced to a radio host's request to discuss Mr. Trump's own daughter as a 'piece of ass.' Multiple women not mentioned in our article have publicly come forward to report on Mr. Trump's unwanted advances. Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself.”

McCraw also said the paper stood by the story and that it “welcome[d] the opportunity to have a court set [Trump] straight” - New York Times response to Trump / Trump’s legal notice / Original NYT article alleging Trump sexually harassed them

UP lawyers strike for 100 days per year: “As per the data obtained from the National Judicial Grid, Uttar Pradesh has over 53 lakh cases pending till date, which accounts for nearly a quarter of total pendency in all states taken together. Trial courts generally work for an average of 250 days a year after discounting weekly and religious holidays. With another 100 days disrupted due to strikes, the staggering number of pending cases comes as no surprise.” – Newslaundry

…and in some district courts, strikes go on for 140 days per year: “The five-year data is an eye-opener. In Muzaffarnagar, a total of 753 days was lost due to lawyers' strike, which means an average of 150 days a year. In Aligarh, it was 697 days (140 days a year), Agra 696 days (140 days every year), Faizabad 693 days, Sultanpur 603 days, Moradabad 596 days, Mathura 591 days, Ghaziabad 573 days, Balrampur 560 days and Chandauli 524 days. - Economic Times

Muslim law board unhappy with Law Commission looking into Uniform Civil Code: “The Law Commission is not functioning like an independent body, it is engaging in illegal activities and acting like the government’s agent. Therefore, we have decided to boycott the questionnaire sent by the Law Commission,” says the The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) - The Quint / Law Commission questionnaire

BCI’s revived age limit restriction puts Kerala in a fix: “Meanwhile, the commissioner of entrance exams (CEE) that conducts the qualifying exam for admission to law colleges in the state is in a fix. ‘We have already conducted the entrance exam and the merit list is out. As per the prospectus, there is no age limit fixed. If we suddenly bring in an upper age limit, then it can be challenged in court,’ said a CEE official. - Times of India

Lower courts may lack ‘expertise’ to judge in colourful language, says SC Justice AK Sikri: “Make it (evocative language) a tool, but don’t be swallowed by it. Judges at the lower level should avoid it as they may not have the expertise. A judgement should be said in a perfect manner,” he said. - India Today

Denying sex to husband is mental cruelty and grounds for divorce, says HC again: “In view [of] the foregoing discussion, we are of the considered view that the husband has fully established that he was subjected to mental cruelty by the wife by denying sex to him for a long period despite living under the same roof, without any justification and though she was not suffering from any physical disability,” the Delhi high court bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Rani, said. – PTI

Despite SC (and Marathi movie Court), still no compensation for manual scavengers: “Two-and-a-half years after the Supreme Court directed the State governments to provide compensation to the families of all manual scavengers who have died clearing sewers since 1993, the Tamil Nadu government has yet to compensate 119 such deaths.” – The Hindu

20 September 2016

LLB aspirants’ upper age limit of 20 years for entry to the five year LLB program and 30 years for the three year LLB is back as per the Bar Council of India’s (BCI) latest circular sent to law schools and now uploaded on its website, as first reported by Bar and Bench.

23 April 2015

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2015 will be attempted by 39,686 candidates for around 1700 undergraduate (UG) seats in 16 of India’s National Law Universities (NLU) on 10 May, while 5514 CLAT 2015 candidates will compete for LLM seats in the NLUs.

12 May 2014

The Supreme Court will hear a petition against the Tamil Nadu bar council, which allegedly issued show cause notices to 400 lawyers and began removing graduates who completed their LLB degrees after they were 30 years old.

The petition by a group of graduates calling themselves the TN LLB Advocates Association, who studied for their LLB degrees outside of Tamil Nadu, claims that the Bar Council of India (BCI) had abolished the rule prescribing a maximum age limit of 30 on LLB students in 2013.

Justices SJ Mukhopadhaya and Ranjan Gogoi issued notice to the Tamil Nadu bar council and 30 law colleges in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The Tamil Nadu bar council locked horns with the BCI over the controversial rule in December, passing a resolution to reenforce the age limit. Apparently more than 1,000 grads could be affected by the bar council's actions. [New Indian Express]

01 May 2014

CLATThe Allahabad high court on Tuesday directed GNLU Gandhinagar to allow two 21-year-old Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2014 aspirants to appear in the entrance exam.

16 December 2013

Rajasthan HC judge accused of locking up daughter over ‘wrong’ caste boyfriend
Rajasthan high court Justice Raghvendra Singh Rathore has allegedly locked his 30-year-old daughter up at home to stop her marrying a man from another caste, who has now filed a Supreme Court petition against the illegal detention [IBN Live] Update: The Supreme Court has ordered the release of the daughter. “She is a major and has the liberty to make her choice in marriage,” said Justices HL Dattu and C Nagappan [AFP]

TN bar council locks horns with BCI over upper age-limit for LLBs
TN bar council Although the Bar Council of India (BCI) has abolished the controversial upper age limit of 35 years for students taking law degrees, the Tamil Nadu bar council has retained the age ceiling, and reinforced it in a resolution on Saturday (14 December). The conflict has left thousands of students in the state, who enrolled in law courses between 2008 and 2011, in limbo, said the BCI, which is looking into the matter [TOI]

CJI: Bench must understand new phenomenon of frivolous litigation
CJI Sathasivam said that long-pending mercy petitions and other frivolous litigations are a new challenged that the bench must learn to understand in order to tackle effectively [The Hindu]

NLS safe but BU campus isn’t one year after rape
NLSIU Bangalore campus now safe after curfew and more guards, one year after the rape of a student near the adjoining Bangalore University campus, where ‘fear still stalks varsity students’, reported the New Indian Express

Delhi HC confirmation of gang rape verdict likely in Jan
The Delhi high court’s verdict on whether the death sentence of the four rapists convicted in the December 2011 Delhi gang rape will likely be delivered in January [IANS]

09 July 2013

BCI LLB age-limit challenged : A writ before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad HC has challenged the BCI’s upper age limit to appear in law entrance tests. BCI has banned those 20 or older from sitting for the five-year degree, and those 30 or above for three-year LLB courses through Clause 28 of Schedule III to Legal Education Rules, 2008 [Parda phash]

Late litigation policy: The National Litigation Policy was first floated three years ago when Veerappa Moily was law minister. Now it has resurfaced as a draft policy under new law minister Kapil Sibal. Under the draft, in cases where the court imposes costs against the government as a condition to granting adjournment, the head of the government department will have to report on why and list the persons responsible. “Suitable action” will be taken against the persons, stated the draft [PTI]

Law firms advertise: Lawyers can’t solicit business in India, directly or indirectly, which means they can’t advertise their services. That hasn’t stopped Indian law firms from finding ways of creating a brand and gaining the attention of prospective clients, discusses [Mint]

Academic appreciation: NLU Jodhpur associate professor Prabhash Ranjan argues that the judiciary and the executive are ignoring the constitutional mandate to appoint distinguished jurists to the Supreme Court, while the Supreme Court is constitutionally bound to develop new legal principles and constitutional jurisprudence. Law professors would be perfect for the job [Hindu]

Placement trends: Out of an average batch of 110 law students, only 15 to 20 opt out of placements. Generally such graduates work as assistants to senior lawyer for four to five years before establishing their independent practice, writes the [Business Standard]

Abusive 498A: A Rajasthan HC writ challenging immediate arrests under section 498A (dowry harassment) and 407 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC, alleges that 70 per cent of matrimonial disputes are converted into criminal cases by misuse of sections 498A and 406 [TOI]

24 September 2009

old_man-by_SukantoDebnath_thThe Mumbai Mirror wrote about a gentleman this week who is "probably city's oldest law student" at 80 years of age. If so, he is lucky to have slipped through the age-barrier net that has been woven by the Bar Council of India (BCI).

Uddhav Alkari (not pictured) is an ex-employee of Madhya Pradesh State Secondary Education Board and the father of three children. According to tabloid Mumbai Mirror, he waited until his children were well settled to follow his dream of studying law.

He has had a tough time getting there, even without the BCI rules, as his 1967 exam scores were too low for law school admission and he had to get to law school in a round-about way.

In any case, hearty congratulations to Mr Alkari for his efforts and achievement.

However, despite most BCI members probably being of the same generation as Alkari, the body would probably not be pleased for him.

The Bar Council of India, Rules of Education, 2008 schedule III clause 28 stipulates that general category students seeking admission for BA (law) courses should not be above 20 while the age limit for the reserved category is 22 years.

The candidates for post-graduation course (LLB), in the general category should not be over 30 while for the reserved category the age limit is 35.

The Law Commission of India led by chairman A R Lakshmanan had also endorsed this rule.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court recently stayed all further proceedings in 12 High Courts on petitions challenging the Bar Council of India Rule fixing upper age limit for admission to LLB.

Delhi University Faculty of Law alumni Shilpi Gupta had studied with much older classmates and believes there is some value in the new BCI rule.

"A majority of students in our class belonged to the age group of 30 and above," she tells Legally India, "consisting of working professionals who were not interested in serious pursuit of law as a career, but rather hoped for advancement in their established fields."

"Therefore, BCI's mandate on imposing maximum age limit for admission to a law school is a welcome step. It will ensure that more seats are available for younger candidates for whom law is a preferred career option and not a tool for value addition."

Photo by Sukanto Debnath