A PIL has been filed before the Delhi High Court on Wednesday demanding the quashing of a Bar Council of India (BCI) directive to not enrol fresh graduates of the Faculty of Law of Delhi University. It claimed that the directive was a violation of rules and procedures as laid down in the Legal Education Rules of the BCI.
The High Court bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw directed the BCI and the Bar Council of Delhi to file their responses. It will take up the matter on November 5. “We will see what the BCI and Bar Council of Delhi say about the issue,” the court said.
The plea, filed by Faculty of Law assistant professor Vijay Kumar Chaurasia, says the letters issued by the BCI on September 3, and then on September 22, directing the state Bar councils to not enrol students of the Faculty who graduated this year, violated the fundamental rights of the graduates, as it was “arbitrary in nature”.
The PIL has also demanded compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for all the graduates who were “wrongfully denied” enrolment by the BCI.
As the order issued in 2014 affects the rights of students enrolled in 2011, the PIL has stated that the order was “retrospective in nature,” and therefore “a violation of the fundamental rights of such innocent students”.
Chaurasia also stated that the BCI had violated its own procedures, laid down for inspection and affiliation of law colleges.
“Such direction, revoking the approval of affiliation of all law centres of University of Delhi, of Respondent No.1(BCI), is without proper procedure of physical inspection as mentioned in the Inspection Manual 2010, which has been framed by Respondent No.1 itself,” the PIL said.
“The BCI is not authorised to revoke the affiliation of the law centres of Delhi University without physical inspection as laid down in the rules,” Chaurasia said.
The plea also asked the court to issue directions to the BCI and Delhi University to start inspection of the three law centres of the Faculty of Law “as soon as possible”.
Meanwhile, a third-year student of the Faculty of Law, Ashok Kumar, has filed a criminal complaint against Law Faculty Dean Ashwani Kumar Bansal and Delhi University Registrar Tarun Kumar Das, alleging that the university authorities had committed offences under Section 166 and 420 of the IPC.
“The accused persons have disobeyed the directions/orders of the BCI and Legal Education Rules, 2008, resulting in injury to students. It offends Section 166 of the IPC,” the complaint filed before the ACMM, Patiala House Courts, said.
The complaint also states that the university had “cheated” students by failing to disclose that it had not obtained extension of affiliation from the BCI.