In a reprieve to hundreds of LL.B. aspirants in Kerala who have crossed the ‘age limit’ prescribed by revived Clause-28 in Legal Education Rules by Bar Council of India, the High Court of Kerala has, in an interim order issued in a batch of petitions challenging the age limit, directed the authorities to permit candidates to participate in the selection process, irrespective of upper age limit.
Justice AM Shaffique has stayed the Kerala Government notification dated 21.10.2016, by which Clause-6(iii) of the original prospectus has been amended in accordance with Rule 28 of Legal Education Rules.
In the government notification, it is specifically stated that the Commissioner for Entrance Examinations will take immediate steps for complying with Clause 28 to conduct the admission procedure in 2016-17 itself. The Entrance Commissioner has issued the notification regarding the same on 22nd October.
The court, after hearing the counsel for petitioners and the Bar Council of India, observed that the High Courts of Punjab and Haryana; Allahabad and Bombay had declared the age limit clause as unconstitutional, while the Madras High Court upheld the same. The court said there was substantial controversy regarding the validity of the rule, which is to be considered in the present batch of writ petitions.
The operative part of the order reads as follow: “In so far as the Bar council had requested state Government to rely upon clause 28 after the examination result had been published, it would be appropriate that all the candidates be permitted to participate in the selection process irrespective of the condition imposed in clause 28 for the time being. Accordingly, the notification dated 21/10/2016 of the Government shall stand stayed until further orders. The, appropriate authority shall permit all the candidates to participate in the selection process irrespective of upper age limit.”
As per a recent circular, the Bar Council of India has revived the rule stipulating the maximum age limit for law courses across the country. As per this clause, the upper age limit for admission in LL.B three-year course is 30 years and for LL.B five- year course is 20 years.
Read the Order here.