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Bangalore University's Alternate Guidelines For Law Students Have BCI Approval; Can Be Implemented : Karnataka HC

Mustafa Plumber
2 Sep 2020 4:29 PM GMT
Bangalore Universitys Alternate Guidelines For Law Students Have BCI Approval; Can Be Implemented : Karnataka HC
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The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday disposed of a petition filed by two final year students of the Bangalore University, seeking directions to the Bar Council of India (BCI) to dispense with the mandatory regulations for all final year students to engage themselves in moot courts, internships, pre-trial preparation etc, for the academic year 2019-20 A division bench of...

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday disposed of a petition filed by two final year students of the Bangalore University, seeking directions to the Bar Council of India (BCI) to dispense with the mandatory regulations for all final year students to engage themselves in moot courts, internships, pre-trial preparation etc, for the academic year 2019-20

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi said "In the light of alternate guidelines proposed by the Bangalore University and the resolution dated August 29, passed by the BCI, the apprehension/grievances, as regards alternative guidelines adopted by Resp 3 (University) does not survive, as even BCI has accepted the alternate guidelines are within the framework of law."

Considering the fact that the issue is regarding the career of law students, the court had called upon BCI to clarify on the issue. The BCI told the bench that it has approved the alternative guidelines proposed by the University. Hence, the Court noted that  there is no impediment in the way of the University in implementing the alternative guidelines.

It also directed the Karnataka State Law University, which has a large number of colleges affiliated to it, to submit its circular proposing the alternate guidelines to be looked into by BCI.

The alternate guidelines as proposed by the Bangalore University read as:

a. With regard to the requirement under Paper 24 (b): Observance of Trial in two cases, one Civil and one Criminal

That in lieu of physical observance of criminal/civil proceedings, the assessment shall be done on the basis of review based/secondary data based assignments ie One on the civil and another on the criminal cases which are written by hand by the students and submitted to the course teacher for assessment in person or send through post, courier or scanned and emailed for 30 marks.

b. With regards to requirements in Paper 24 ( c ) : Interviewing techniques and Pre-trial preparations and Internship diary

 The student will have to submit two assignments explaining the experience gained during internship in the previous years of their LL course which are written by hand by the students and submitted to course teacher for assessment, either in person or sent through post, courier or scanned and emailed for 30 marks. (Each carrying 15 marks).

C: The final year LLB students, viva voce examinations may be conducted online keeping record of the whole Viva Voce examination. The test also may be conducted online or in lieu of the same, assignments or projects which are written by hand by the students and submitted to the course teacher for assessment, either in person or sent through post, courier or scanned and emailed.

Students Gautham R and Krishnamurthy T K had moved the court stating that on account of the impending COVID-19 pandemic, the High Court has laid down certain Standard Operating Procedures for the regular functioning and operation of the Courts wherein it has been categorically laid down that the entry of Advocates' clerks, litigants as well as any other third parties have been strictly prohibited into the premises of the courts, sans permission.

In such circumstances, it would be impossible for the students of the final year of law to enter the court premises and observe the court proceedings or to observe interviewing sessions of clients at a Lawyer's Office/Legal Aid Office for the purpose of completion of the course, the petitioners contended.

The Law Chambers/Firms of Advocates are also reluctant to encourage students from law schools to intern at their offices keeping in mind the principles of social distancing. The indifference and apathy at the hands of the respondents is likely to vex the mobility of the students en masse, highlighted the petitioners.

Citing these aspects, the plea prayed for a direction to respondents to dispense with clause (b) and (c) of Paper 24 under Schedule II of Part IV of Bar Council of India Rules ("Rules of Legal Education") for the academic year 2019-2020.


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