After perusing the Bar Council of India’s (BCI) letter rejecting a representation filed by the dean of Delhi University’s Law Faculty seeking an increase in the number of seats at its three centres, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday said the BCI has to file a counter-affidavit addressing “pertinent points” raised in the varsity’s representation. The court will hear the BCI’s arguments addressing the issues on June 12.
The representation refers to the Law Faculty’s entitlement to increase the number of seats under relevant provisions of the Central Educational Institutes (Reservation of Seats) Act, 2006. The dean of Law Faculty, in the representation, had also said that they now had “necessary wherewithal”, including teaching faculty and infrastructural facilities, like buildings and classrooms for more students.
“You (BCI) have not dealt with these issues,” said a bench of Justice Sunil Gaur and Justice C Hari Shankar. BCI had last year imposed the condition that the Faculty of Law could not admit more than 1,440 students in its three centres — instead of 2,310 students it has been admitting “in all previous years” — owing to infrastructure problems and lack of adequate number of teachers.
The counsel for DU Wednesday told the court that it has taken care of all the infrastructural shortcomings that were pointed out to them after a BCI inspection last year. The university counsel also said that BCI has not conducted a fresh inspection, even though they have paid the requisite inspection fee. In reply, the BCI counsel said they would “look into the matter”. The university also informed the court that there has been a delay in the advertisement for the number of seats available at the centres, and that they would post the advertisement for 1,440 seats on Monday.
In a written resolution, the BCI submitted before court that the dean of Law Faculty had made a representation on April 24, 2017, asking for the enhancement of seats from 1,440 to 2,201. But, the representation failed to convince the Legal Education Committee regarding improvement in infrastructure, addition of sufficient classrooms and fresh appointment of teachers. So the committee had, on April 30, refused to consider it.
NUMBER OF SEATS
Law Centre – I (runs in two shifts — day and evening classes): 600 students since 1970
In 2008, number of seats increased to 924
Law Centre – II (evening classes): 400 students since 1971
In 2008, number of seats increased to 616
Campus Law Centre (day classes): 500 students since 1975
In 2008, number of seats increased to 770
Total number of seats since 2008: 2,310
September, 2014: BCI tells DU Faculty of Law it will not enrol graduates as advocates
March, 2015: BCI sends an “averse report”, asks DU to cut down class size, recruit more faculty and improve infrastructure
April, 2015: DU agrees to comply with the BCI norms. BCI grants provisional affiliation
August, 2016: BCI issues another notice to Faculty of Law for admitting more students than prescribed
March, 2017: BCI sends a letter to DU imposing a Rs 30 lakh fine, says DU cannot admit more than 1,440 students
April, 2017: DU sends a letter to the BCI requesting them to allow admission of more students, and repeal the penalty