Months after the Faculty of Law of the Delhi University was derecognised by the Bar Council of India (BCI), the infrastructural woes of the faculty have not been resolved.
The Delhi University has now decided to shift the three centres of the Law Faculty to a single building in the University campus, drawing strident protests from teachers and students alike, who claim that the move is in violation of both the Bar Council Rules and the Delhi High Court orders.
The three centres — campus law centre, law centres I and II — currently have over 7,500 students on the rolls.
In September, the BCI had issued a notice to derecognise the faculty, and directed the state bar councils to not enroll students who had graduated from any of the three centres after 2012. The decision had been taken as the centres had not applied to the BCI for inspection and affiliation. Further, there were allegations of lack of infrastructure.
The Delhi High Court, in its orders issued in 2011 and 2014, had directed DU to ensure that proper infrastructure in keeping with BCI norms. In its reply to the High Court, the university had claimed that the new building “had adequate space” for the faculty to be run properly.
According to teachers, however, the proposed new building violates all of BCI’s infrastructure norms for recognised law schools.
“We received the letter on January 5 from the university, stating that all three centres will be shifted to a new building adjacent to the central reference library for the new academic session,” CLC professor-in-charge Usha Tandon said.
The new building is spread over just 1.5 acres and has three floors with only 22 classrooms. The space, however, is not enough to accommodate all students – 2,200 in CLC, 2,400 in LC-I and 2,000 in LC-II.
Students and teachers submitted a letter to the DU Vice-Chancellor, claiming that there was “no room” in the “tiny building” to accommodate rooms for teachers, professors in-charge and students unions. Further, the letter noted, “there is absolutely no space” for any library, seminar halls or moot court rooms, which are essential for a law college under the Bar Council’s legal education rules.Three writ petitions are currently being heard before the High Court regarding the state of the faculty’s infrastructure.
One was filed by former faculty dean S N Singh in 2006, and two were filed last year after the BCI notice, by LC-II assistant professor V K Chaurasiya and a student. Another plea filed by first-year student Tarun Narang challenges DU’s decision to combine all three centres.
The BCI had submitted its report of the inspection of the infrastructure to the court and the Legal Education Committee in December. “The LEC is expected to take a decision on whether to derecognise the faculty after they inspected the current buildings. The new building is even worse. How can the students be accommodated?” Narang said.