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BCI Imposes 30 Lakh Penalty On Delhi University’s Law Faculty

Apoorva Mandhani
17 May 2017 12:45 PM GMT
BCI Imposes 30 Lakh Penalty On Delhi University’s Law Faculty
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Spelling fresh trouble for Delhi University’s Law Faculty, the Bar Council of India (BCI) has imposed a penalty of Rs. 30 lakh on it, and has asked it to not admit more than 1,440 students this academic year.

The penalty has been imposed for not paying affiliation fees, continuing to teach without permission, and not providing adequate infrastructure in different centres. It was therefore asked to abstain from admitting more students, since it does not have the adequate infrastructure and faculty members to cater to them.

In response, a representation has been made to the BCI, by the Dean, Law Faculty, Ved Kumari, and University Registrar, Tarun Das. The letter demands waiving off penalty amount, “in view of the fact that the faculty is a public funded educational institution receiving grants from University Grants Commission (UGC), wherein no fund is allocated for the payment of such penalty.”

The letter further demands that the Department be permitted to admit more students, because University statutory authorities had sanctioned the strength in three law centres.

On the lack of adequate faculty, the letter states that the posts have already been advertised, and that the process will be completed before the start of the new academic session. Claiming that after newer appointments will improve the teacher-student ratio from the current 1:43 to 1:19, the letter was quoted as saying, “This is tantamount to wastage of national resources while many students await quality and affordable legal education.”

In September, 2014, Faculty of Law, Delhi University had found itself in a fix after BCI had decided to derecognize the law course taught at its three centres, namely Campus Law Centre, Law Centre­1 and Law Centre­ 2. This was because the Law Faculty had failed to obtain “extension of approval of affiliation” from BCI despite repeated reminders.

Delhi University Law Faculty Dean Professor Ashwani Kumar Bansal had then written a letter to the BCI, expressing shock over the “drastic step”. Following unrest among the stakeholders, DU had sent an application for affiliation and inspection a month later, under the Legal Education Rules to the Bar Council of India, providing a breather to the recent graduates of the Institute.

The University had decided to shift its law faculty out of its 90 years old campus in soon after. The decision had, however, drawn flak from the students who are unhappy over the size of the new facility. This was followed by the BCI allowing enrolment of students who had passed out till 2013-14 as advocates.

Subsequently, BCI’s Legal Education Committee had issued a fresh show cause notice to DU, to explain the “illegalities” in its functioning and had demanded an assurance in writing that it would comply with the prescribed recommendations. You may read the LiveLaw story here.

Besides, Delhi University had also been asked by the BCI to shut down its evening law courses, and reduce student intake by around 800 last year. The move had followed an adverse report filed by the BCI, which alleged that the University violated legal education rules by conducting classes after 7 pm.

It had advised that the students enrolled in such classes be provided special tutorials of 5.5 hours each. DU was further directed to deposit Rs. 2 lakhs each for a year per centre, in order to ensure that students who have already graduated from the evening classes didn’t encounter problems while enrolment as advocates. You may read the LiveLaw article here.

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