The High Court of Allahabad on Thursday permitted around 70 aspirants older than 20 years to apply for the Common Law Admission Test, in derogation of the BCI Rules setting an upper age limit for taking the test.
As reported by LegallyIndia, the order came on a Petition filed by Advocate Sushmita Mukherjee in November last year. The Bench, comprising Justice Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale and Justice Yashwant Varma, reportedly commented that the “enabling act is the Advocates Act, and the Advocates Act does not give any power to the BCI to impose any such restrictions”.
The order has however been made contingent on the outcome of another Petition filed before the Supreme Court by Advocate Zoheb Hussain.
The SC Petition has been filed on behalf of Michael Sam, a 21-year-old orphan from Maharashtra who is an IDIA scholar and has been disqualified from seeking admission to any of the Law Schools in India by virtue of the age bar reintroduced by the BCI.
The Petition has argued that Clause 28 of Legal Education Rules, 2008, which restored the maximum age limit of 20 years for taking admission to the 5-year integrated law degree, is arbitrary and unlawful. The new stipulation, it contends, violates the fundamental rights of aspiring law students under Articles 14, 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution of India. You may read the LiveLaw article here.
Another petition challenging the age limit rule is being heard by the Bombay High Court, which last week agreed to wait for a report to be submitted by a sub-committee appointed by the Legal Education Committee of BCI, after reviewing Rule 28 of Schedule III of Part IV of the Bar Council of India Rules.
The committee report will be crucial in order to establish some clarity on this issue as the Bombay High Court has already held Clause 28 of the Legal Education Rules is ultra vires to the Advocates Act 1961, in Yasmin Tavaria v. Union of India last year. The High Court of Punjab and Haryana has taken the same view in Rajan Sharma v. The Bar Council of India. However, a contrary view was taken by the Madras High Court in Santhosh Antony Vareed v. The Registrar, Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Chennai. You may read the LiveLaw article here.
Read the order here.
This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.