A group of law students have sent a memorandum to Banaras Hindu University Vice-Chancellor and the Bar Council of India (BCI) seeking relief for more than 80 candidates who had appeared in the varsity’s entrance test for the LL. B (Honours) course in May.
The BHU had earlier advertised vacancies for 384 seats (excluding seats under certain quotas). However, when the result was declared, the total number of seats was reduced to 300. The change was made in the wake of a direction from the Bar Council of India, which said BHU can admit a maximum of 300 students for the particular course at 60 students per section; the number of sections not exceeding five.
The Bar Council of India regulates legal education in the country.
“We have sent a memorandum to the V-C and also, through e-mail, to the Bar Council of India. The only relief we are seeking for the students is to postpone this decision till the next session. The changes were effected mid-way through the admission process; as a result many students who could have made it to the course are left without an option,” said Saurabh Tiwari, a BHU student, who has completed his three-year law course and is leading the students on the issue.
Dean (Faculty of Law), Prof (Dr) B N Pandey said: “The students have met me and I have told them the factual position. Increasing or decreasing the seats is not within the purview of the University. This is a professional course regulated by the Bar Council of India. It has given clear directions that from this session (2014-15) itself, the total number of students cannot be more than 300.”
Chairman (Press, Publication and Publicity), Prof Ravi Pratap Singh, said: “The facts of the issues are such that the university cannot do anything in this regard. We would be committing legal violations if we try to increase the seats on our own. It may even lead to de-recognition of the course.”
Incidentally, the Bar Council has given the go-ahead to the university to start five-year-integrated law course (BA LL. B), subject to fulfillment of certain conditions.
Earlier, the entrance test for the course was held on July 17, while the Bar Council of India had written a letter to the authorities concerned regarding reduction of seats on May 15, following an inspection visit by the BCI team. The letter apparently reached the university after the entrance tests were over. The results were declared July 27 and counseling is to begin Monday.
“Our main ground is that the stipulations of the admission process cannot be changed mid-way. We are exploring possibilities of seeking relief from the Allahabad High Court,” said Tiwari.
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